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EAA Government Advocacy

July 2013

Your Voice Counts! EAA, AOPA Urge Survey Participation for Medical Exemption


Government Relations Briefings

Government Relations Archive

EAA continues to work hard on these issues and others of importance to EAA members and other aviators. There is strength in numbers, not only in EAA member participation but also in joining with other aviation groups and important allies such as the general aviation caucuses in the House and Senate.


Advocacy and Safety Highlights for AirVenture

EAA Advocacy and Safety looks forward to hosting a number of visiting government and aviation safety leaders who will be presenting forums to the public and attending meetings with industry groups throughout the week of AirVenture.

In addition to senior executives from the FAA, NTSB, and TSA, EAA will accommodate staff from other nations' civil aviation authorities and embassies, which often attend AirVenture to show support for their home country's aviation industry and seek greater partnership and regulatory harmony with the FAA.

FAA staff from Flight Standards Service and the Small Airplane Directorate will participate in industry meetings that deal with issues ranging from airman and airworthiness certification standards to NextGen avionics requirements. These meetings are crucial to the industry, as it is otherwise very difficult to gather so many interested industry parties into a single room with FAA policy- and decision-makers.

Ten federal agencies from three nations are represented in the Federal Pavilion, which features its own dedicated forum space and weeklong schedule. Many Federal Pavilion forums are eligible for FAA WINGS pilot proficiency program credits.

Avid GA pilot Dr. Earl Weener, member of the NTSB, will present a major forum with EAA Chairman Jack J. Pelton. NTSB Judge Stephen Woody, with members of EAA's Legal Advisory Council, will present a forum about the Pilot's Bill of Rights and conduct a mock trial.

EAA's legal, aeromedical, and homebuilding advisory councils will also present forums and meet with FAA offi cials to discuss policy important to GA pilots and homebuilders. AirVenture is also where EAA's councils get together and plan goals and policy for the upcoming year.

Please check the AirVenture forum schedule online at www.airventure.org/schedule for a complete listing of events.

Featured Advocacy and Safety Forums:

  • "Mechanics and the Law," presented by EAA Legal Advisory Council member Patrick Phillips; Tuesday, July 30, 10-11:45 a.m.; Forum Pavilion 2
  • "Fuel Alternatives for Aircraft," presented by the National Research Council Canada's Tim Leslie; Wednesday, July 31, 1-2:15 p.m.; Forum Pavilion 8 * "Meet the NTSB," presented by NTSB member Earl Weener and Jack Pelton; Wednesday, July 31, 2:30-3:45 p.m.; Honda Pavilion
  • "Aeromedical Certifi cation," presented by the EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council; Saturday, August 3, 10-11:15 a.m.; Forum Pavilion 1
  • "Survive an FAA Enforcement Trial With Tips From EAA Lawyers and the Judge," presented by the EAA Legal Advisory Council and NTSB Judge Stephen Woody; Saturday, August 3, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Forum Pavilion 11

Congress Backs Part 23 Rewrite; ARC Recommendations Will Increase Safety, Affordability for GA

A major change in policy regarding FAR Part 23 and the role of innovative, affordable, and safety-enhancing technology in GA cockpits is in the air, and EAA is very supportive of bills recently introduced in both houses of Congress that would set a deadline for the FAA to adopt the policy changes outlined by industry leaders. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta also voiced support for the policy changes.

The FAA's willingness to publicly discuss revamping Part 23 was welcomed by EAA, AOPA, GAMA, NBAA, and other aviation associations, all of whom have been involved in the Part 23 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) working to rewrite Part 23 to make it less prescriptive and more results-based. An end goal of the ARC is to use industry consensus standards to certify safety equipment eligible for installation in type-certificated aircraft.

The effect of using consensus standards and results-driven design is twofold: It eliminates much of the tedious paperwork and extreme-circumstance testing of Part 23 certification, which drastically reduces cost of the hardware, plus it encourages more manufacturers to bring more safety products into the field.

"A Part 23 rewrite that adopts consensus standards and lowers barriers to market entry would be a huge incentive for aerospace innovators to get involved with GA," said Sean Elliott, vice president of EAA advocacy and safety. "We would love to see all of the newest, most cost-effective safety hardware currently available and being developed for the E-AB market be given a simpler process to expand into type-certificated GA aircraft."

The bills introduced to the House and Senate, called the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013, call for the FAA to adopt the rewritten standard by 2015 and would apply to aircraft weighing 19,000 pounds or less. The Senate bill was introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and the House bill by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas).

"The existing outdated certification process needlessly increases the cost of safety and technology upgrades by up to 10 times," Pompeo said. "With this bill, we can ensure that the general aviation industry has what it needs to thrive."

Sean Elliott

The Final Word - Sean Elliott, EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety

FAA Support of AirVenture Comes With a Price?

Recently, EAA Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton and I traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the FAA administrator and the chief operating officer for air traffic. The purpose of the meeting was to review plans for AirVenture 2013. It was at this meeting that the FAA first informed EAA that it would be demanding that EAA pay a "reimbursable" fee for ATC support of the event. After 60-plus years of FAA partnership and support, we were in a state of shock at the FAA viewing EAA as a billable revenue source and nothing more.

Everyone is well aware of the impact of sequestration on government agencies this year. What is particularly disturbing about this development is that the FAA has been authorized by Congress to move funding internally to fully fund ATC services. The FAA has chosen to view the world's largest gathering of GA aircraft, AirVenture, as simply a private event that does not warrant FAA support unless the EAA community pays for it. This is a very disturbing point of view and is absolutely unacceptable to both EAA and the general aviation community.

We fear this is the tip of the iceberg. What else will the FAA view as nonessential and therefore decide to charge GA for? What other government agencies will follow this model and impose additional fees for services already funded by tax dollars? The possibilities are frightening.

As you may have seen, EAA has not been idly standing by. With web tools like "Rally Congress" and our Washington-based staff, we have taken these concerns public and to the Hill. Our initial call for action for support of a letter from the Senate garnered nearly 19,000 letters of support from you, the EAA membership, in less than 48 hours. That of course was just our first step. It is now more important than ever that you are well-informed and stay tuned to EAA's communications.

Please stay close and be ready for any further calls to action from EAA. It is your voice that makes a difference with our elected officials.

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 history of success is a testament to that philosophy.

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