By Mary Grady, News Writer, Editor
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, has been named to succeed Sen. Trent Lott on the Senate Aviation Subcommittee. When longtime Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., announced last week that he will leave the Senate at year’s end, that raised questions about what will happen next in the user-fee fight in Congress. Lott is the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation, where he has been a proponent of user fees. On Wednesday, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, was named to serve as the new ranking member of the Subcommittee, and the National Business Aviation Association was glad to hear it. “The Senator is very knowledgeable on aviation issues and has an in-depth understanding of general aviation,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “NBAA looks forward to working with Senator Hutchison and the other Subcommittee members to advance our aviation system, which is the world’s largest, safest and most efficient.” AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said his organization is looking forward to working with Sen. Hutchison. “She voted with general aviation earlier this year on an important amendment that would have stripped user fees from the Senate’s version of the FAA reauthorization bill,” he told AVweb.
“AOPA is looking forward to the opportunity to work with her in her new role as ranking member of the aviation subcommittee.” Hutchison’s appointment will become official following Lott’s retirement.