Washington, DC, April 27, 2015 – Today, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) provided the Senate Aviation Subcommittee with its views on the upcoming FAA reauthorization in advance of its hearing entitled, “FAA Reauthorization: Aviation Safety and General Aviation.” The Association’s President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks covered a number of aviation business-related issues including the FAA’s organizational structure, regulatory consistency, and aviation tax policy. Hendricks discussed the importance of timely action on a multi-year bill noting, “As a result of the last FAA reauthorization bill, NATA member companies have been able to confidently proceed with their own investment plans, but that confidence to invest will be undermined by a protracted reauthorization process.”
FAA organizational structure – “NATA urges lawmakers to build on its work that began in the last reauthorization and continue to assist the agency toward a more efficient operating structure. However, changes in the relationship between the agency’s air traffic control operation and its safety regulatory component should be carefully viewed in terms of the problem to be addressed, and whether the solution will continue to maintain a stable, safe and efficient system that protects access for all users of our system.”
Consistency of regulatory interpretation – “NATA appreciates the Subcommittee’s review last week of certification issues and hopes its reauthorization legislation will also consider the impacts to aviation businesses created by the inconsistent interpretation of FAA regulations…The 2012 FAA reauthorization created an FAA/Industry Committee, the “Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (CRI ARC)” to address this issue. It is important the panel’s recommendations, particularly the creation of a Master Source Guidance System, be implemented as quickly as possible.”
Maximizing use of existing FAA resources in support of aviation businesses – Hendricks provided the Subcommittee with several areas where agency operations might be streamlined noting, “Regardless of the resolution of the debate about the FAA’s current organizational structure and funding discussed above, it is unlikely the regulatory functions of the agency can expect to see dramatic increase to its funding. As a result, the agency must maximize the use of its existing resources.”
Tax policy – Hendricks provided Subcommittee members with views on three issues of tax policy that impact aviation businesses including: application of the federal excise taxes to aviation management services, the diversion fuel tax revenue from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and pro-business investment policies.
Hendricks closed, “While maintaining the status quo risks our nation’s supremacy in aviation, it is equally true that radical change to the FAA’s management structure and funding poses equal risks, including to the safe and stable nature of the world’s best air traffic control system. We look forward to working with the Subcommittee and agency toward continuing to operate the world’s safest and most efficient aviation system.”
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NATA, the voice of aviation business, is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies. For more information about NATA, please visitwww.nata.aero, www.twitter.com/nataaero or www.facebook.com/nataaero.