EAA Government Advocacy
Preserving Airport Access - Every day, the future of airports around the country is threatened because of encroaching housing or business developments, local funding issues, or other factors. Specifically, FAA’s through-the-fence (TTF) policy updates announced last fall have created a great deal of concern from those who use local access agreements to participate in aviation. Read More
On our Radar
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) intends to bring the FAA reauthorization bill to the floor this session. The FAA has been operating under temporary funding extensions since the last reauthorization ran out in 2007. The current extension ends March 31.
It is too soon to tell whether the omission of user fees from the White House budget is a permanent shift in policy or simply deferring a controversial fight for another day. “Elected officials have stood strongly in defense of general aviation, but that does not happen unless they hear from members like you who reach out to your legislators to have your voice heard,” said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations.
Macnair thanks EAA members for their tireless efforts in this legislative fight. EAA will continue to be vigilant for any signs of a resurgence of this issue. And one thing is clear; our community must continue making our voices heard over the din of media rhetoric and public ignorance.
EAA is becoming concerned that uninformed use of certain amateur-built accident figures may present a misleading picture of homebuilt aircraft safety. As a result EAA asked Ron Wanttaja, EAA 275698, who has developed and maintained extensive records on this subject, to write a report using the most accurate data possible.
Ron’s full report is available for download via www.SportAviation.org. The information will provide a useful, accurate baseline of data when discussing homebuilt aircraft safety. It also gives EAA members and the aviation community insight into specific areas where safety can be improved.
EAA in Action
The new FAA Airport Compliance Policy document (FAA Order 5190.6B) is one of the most critical airport management tools available to state aviation officials, airport tenants, and pilots. EAA has numerous concerns about the document, and submitted extensive comments to the Federal Register, focusing on three areas:
1. Clarification of adjacent residential through-the-fence agreements.
2. Accessibility to public-use general aviation airports by recreational pilots and enthusiasts.
3. Improving support for aviation activities, including availability of ethanol-free premium autogas, support for owner self-service maintenance, and clarification of airport reduced fair-market value rent opportunities for EAA chapters.
Security issues involving general aviation (GA) were a topic of discussion at an initial meeting with an Aviation Security Advisory Committee, which opened the door for industry, including EAA, and the Transportation Security Administration to discuss issues of concern and work toward constructive solutions. This working group will focus on the security directive process, Large Aircraft Security Program and repair station rules, and flight school security.
Following an appeal from EAA, the FAA made public the findings of an internal FAA investigation of the Zodiac 601/650 series of aircraft. The report included a review and evaluation of safety concerns, a determination whether the special light-sport aircraft version of the Zodiac CH 601 XL is in compliance with ASTM standards, and the status of its continued operational safety.
For many years EAA supported both the FAA and the aircraft manufacturer’s efforts to find the root cause of several in-flight failures of these aircraft. In addition, EAA surveyed its members to gauge their awareness of the FAA’s special airworthiness information bulletin, the AMD safety directive/safety alert, and their intent to comply with both. Importantly, the results assured the FAA that the 601/650 community was aware of the key issues and able to self-regulate.
EAA shared the report with members and is working with EAA technical counselors to assist builders and owners of the 601 XL and 650 to modify their aircraft and ensure the safety of the pilots, their passengers, and persons and property on the ground.
Stolen Aircraft Lands at LAX! Headlines like this have been in the news much too frequently. When GA aircraft are left unlocked or keys left unattended, and someone steals an airplane, it doesn’t help our job of trying to prevent onerous new security restrictions. GA aircraft are not stolen often, but when they are, it tends to be national news.
An incident in Southern California in February that ended with an early morning landing at Los Angeles International Airport is a lesson for all. While it is common for people to lock and alarm their parked car, securing aircraft does not appear to be taken as seriously. Why not?
Each local airport is its own small community; programs like the AOPA Airport Watch can be extremely effective in ensuring the security of our airports and aircraft. EAA encourages its members and chapters to actively support this program.
Basic security measures in place at your airport need to be taken seriously. How does it look to a casual observer when you enter or exit an airport access gate and then drive away rather than wait for the gate to close? Such behavior may seem like a minor transgression, but how will it look if your indiscretion is used as a “Top Story at 10” by your local TV station. In addition, what message does it send to local law enforcement about how seriously GA enthusiasts take security?
EAA consistently tries to decrease the barriers to participation; we want our sport to be welcoming and inviting for others to experience the pleasures of flight. But remember the famous words “trust but verify.” You may trust that the fixed-base operator put fuel in your aircraft, but you still verify. The more seriously we take the security of our aircraft, the more trust will be placed in us.
Share your comments in the “Hangar Talk” forum at www.Oshkosh365.org.
Read more about out what else is happening in the world of EAA's government relations.
EAA's Government Relations department works to preserve the freedom of flight and reduce the regulatory barriers affecting affordability and access to EAA members’ participation in aviation. Protecting the freedom to fly is the foundation on which all of the organization’s advocacy initiatives are built. EAA fights to preserve this freedom by providing clear solutions and practical alternatives backed by hard work and dedication. EAA’s 55-year history of success is a testament to that philosophy.