The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has approved continued strong support for two areas critical to general aviation’s growth: reform of the certification process for new aircraft products and technologies, and the transition to an unleaded aviation fuel for piston-engine aircraft.
“We are especially pleased by the Committee’s emphasis on improving the certification process at the FAA,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “The Committee would require the FAA to report on its progress to Congress in implementing Section 312 (Aircraft certification process review and reform) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and also in bolstering workforce and training programs for FAA certification inspectors, engineers, and specialists. The Committee also urges continued progress on the Small Airplane Revitalization Act rulemaking. GAMA applauds these Committee initiatives and believes they will play a key role in making the certification process more efficient and effective in bringing new technologies and products to market and improving aviation safety.”
Furthermore, the Committee voted to fund the transition from the current 100 octane low-lead fuel to an unleaded avgas at $6 million, which is $300,000 above President Obama’s request. This funding would allow the avgas transition to move from research effort to an evaluation of viable alternative fuels and eventual deployment of an unleaded avgas. “We are encouraged by the Committee’s leadership in this area and their recognition that this effort is a multi-year process,” Bunce said. “During this transition, we must ensure the effective balancing of environmental improvement with aviation safety, technological challenges, and economic impact.”
Bunce continued, “The Committee’s action today sends a strong message of support to general aviation manufacturers as we continue to climb our way out of the recession to economic recovery. We thank members of the Committee, particularly Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham (R-IA) and ranking member Ed Pastor (D-AZ), and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and ranking member Nita Lowey (D-NY), for this critical funding measure and look forward to working with them and other members of the House and Senate to ensure final passage.”
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