Texas Senator to Become Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member
December 6, 2007 — Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) will become the new ranking member of the Senate Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee when Sen. Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) retires, it was announced this week. Lott, who has been a proponent of user fees for general aviation, recently announced plans to retire by the end of the year. Hutchison will play a key role in passing Senate Bill 1300 (FAA reauthorization), which is currently being considered in the Senate. As it currently exists, SB 1300 contains an element of user fees - a $25 charge for IFR flight plans in turbine aircraft.
"We welcome the Senator," said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. "She has a significant background on aviation issues, and we're encouraged that as a member of the Senate Commerce Committee she voted with GA earlier this year on an amendment to remove user fees from the Senate Bill." That amendment failed to pass by one vote.