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Sun, Apr 18, 2004

HAI Keeping Up The Pressure On Proposed Air Tour Rule

HAI President Roy Resavage dispatched letters to Capitol Hill this week. The letters request help from Members of Congress in obtaining suspension of the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed national air tour rule, the holding of a public hearing on the issue, thorough analysis of the commercial air tour safety record, and the possible holding of Congressional oversight hearings.

Mr. Resavage informed the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senate Aviation Subcommittee, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and House Aviation Subcommittee that HAI “takes strong exception to the cost benefit analysis contained in the proposed rule and the failure of the FAA to consider associated operator compliance costs,” asking for an extension on the comment period set to expire on April 19, 2004 to allow additional time for more careful analysis of the rule.

Members of Congress were cautioned that “NTSB concerns over the increased exposure to mid-air collision through the practice of compressing airspace for divergent aircraft, i.e., the hazards of mixing fixed-wing and helicopter traffic at contiguous altitudes, must be recognized.” The proposed rule has failed to consider airspace restrictions, geographic and weather issues, or helicopters with different flight characteristics and capabilities than fixed-wing aircraft. HAI strongly believes that the FAA has an unrealistic picture of the true impact the proposed rule will have on the helicopter tour industry.

HAI has obtained the support of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy and has joined with other general aviation associations in developing a coalition to address the economic and safety concerns this issue raises.

FMI: www.rotor.com

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