Archive for January, 2011

FAA Reauthorization Legislation to Be Rapidly Advanced in the Senate

Monday, January 31st, 2011

 We were invited to join a somewhat unique conference call this afternoon that just concluded with Democrat leaders from the United States Senate.  Participants included Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and other Senators.  The purpose of the call was described as a discussion about “the hundreds of thousands of jobs the FAA Reauthorization bill – Democrats’ first jobs bill of the 112th Congress – will support and create.”

After 17 short term extensions, it now looks like the Senate and the House are poised to advance the FAA Reauthorization bill.

Senator Reid (D-NV) stressed that the legislation would produce jobs, improve safety and modernize our air transportation system.  He indicated the Senate is ready to act within days.  He said that the Senate, “cannot let the bill be stymied by relatively small issues…this is an important jobs bill.”  While the bill will not take up issues related to slots or passenger facilities charges, it was made clear that there will be opportunities to amend the legislation when it is brought to the floor.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke of the importance of investing in legislation that can create jobs.  He believes the FAA Reauthorization legislation will create jobs.  And, he stressed the importance of implementing NextGen.  He predicts the legislation will pass the Senate this week.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee praised the leadership for making the FAA Reauthorization bill the first of this legislative session of Congress.  He spoke of the important economic contributions made by aviation “because people have to get places.”  And, he spoke about the importance of satellite based navigation.  He spoke about the significance of Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) indicated that “aviation jobs are big business in America.”  She said she would work for passage of the legislation and outlined the benefits for Washington State and the rest of the nation.  She also mentioned the fact that the legislation would increase safety, reduce delays and create jobs.  She cited the importance of adopting the new technologies represented by NextGen initiatives.

The Senators were joined by Charles “Chip” Barclay, President, American Association of Airport Executives who outlined some of the specific benefits of the legislation.

Egypt and Rising Oil Prices

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The rising price of oil has been worrisome for months.  Today, the price for a barrel of oil crossed above $90.

Developments in Egypt are cause for real concern.  Here is how one news organization describes it:

Nearly 3 million barrels of oil transit daily through the Suez Canal, as much as Canada’s daily output, making it one of the world’s most important oil routes. The tankers ferrying this oil are coming from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and neighbouring producers and are for the most part headed to US shores and to a lesser extent Western Europe which also relies on the North Sea and Russia for its oil supply. Unfortunately Egypt is the country which controls the Suez Canal and as the food riots gradually take the shape of a revolution, the future of the Canal becomes a million dollar question.

For more details and to track oil prices, click here:

The General Aviation Caucus

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

We are working hard with the co-chairs of the General Aviation Caucus in the House of Representatives to bring half the Members of Congress into this very important group.  Recently, the House GA Caucus Co-Chairs sat down with AOPA’s Lorraine Howerton and the AOPA LIVE team for an interview. 

CBS Tribute to the Wright Brothers

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

There was a nice segment this morning on CBS Sunday Morning that paid tribute to the Wright brothers.  If you missed it, click here to watch the clip:

LSA excitement

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I just got back from sunny Sebring, Florida, where I took part in the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. What a great place to Rally GA!

These folks are excited about their aircraft, and having spent some time checking out the show I can really understand their enthusiasm. There were dozens of light sport aircraft on display to meet any sport pilot’s needs. Whether you want a high-tech cockpit or you want to skip the gadgets and just enjoy exercising your stick-and-rudder skills, there’s an LSA for you.

LSA in hotel Lobby

Where else in America can you check into your hotel under the wing of an LSA?

While I was at the show, I had the chance to speak to about 300 people at a dinner, and their love of general aviation was both palpable and contagious. Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association President Dan Johnson gave me a warm welcome as he introduced me to the crowd. (You can watch the presentation on AOPA Live.)

Unfortunately, it was time to leave all too soon and head back to icy Frederick.

But if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, the show is going on for another couple of days, and I’d encourage you to check it out. You can find out more at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo website.

A Look Back at 2010

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
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