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Tue, Dec 05, 2023

GAMA Testifies Before House Committee

Mounting Pressure For FAA Reauth Bill Just Keeps Building

Another aviation stakeholder took their frustrations to Capitol Hill at the end of November, with GAMA proclaiming its irritations shortly after the NBAA weighed in on the issue.

General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce testified before the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee regarding the importance of a timely FAA reathorization, titled "Turbulence Ahead: Consequences of Delaying a Long-Term FAA Bill".

Bunce began reminding the House that the FAA's last reauthorization expired months ago, and has only continued operating under a temporary extention of the 2018 authorization since September. The bill, passed in the House in July, remains held up in the Senate.

"Congress doesn’t do an FAA bill just because the agency’s authorization lapses, but because there’s an extraordinary amount of work to be done," said Bunce. "Over the past few years, the FAA has experienced an immense set of challenges: the 737 MAX incidents, the bust-and-boom nature of the pandemic, and restrictions on flight capacity – particularly in Florida and in the Northeast – which have limited options for consumers. Additionally, we have seen aviation innovators develop technologies that go well beyond the regulatory framework or the organizational structure of the FAA. Meanwhile, we were without a U.S. Senate-confirmed FAA administrator for over a year and a half."

He acknowledged the recent safety review, too, recognizing how much the bill tackled before the issues were fully analyzed inside government systems. "Recently, the FAA’s independent National Airspace System Safety Review Team (SRT) issued a scathing report detailing a number of aviation industry issues that need to be fixed. When I look at the U.S. House’s FAA reauthorization bill, I say, ‘Gosh, actually, I think we got it right.’ We addressed a number of those issues in our bill before the report was even issued, and I think we really have struck that right balance. I won’t tell you that the bill is perfect – but I will tell you that it is pretty close."

FMI: www.transportation.house.gov

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