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EAA, WOA Fight Potential Warbird Noise Restriction In Stalled Senate Bill

June 19, 2008 — A proposed noise restriction on jet Warbirds contained in the U.S. Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill will not likely see passage into law anytime soon, according to Washington sources, but EAA and the Warbirds of America are nonetheless working behind the scenes to make sure it’s removed. The proposed new restriction in the FAA Reauthorization Bill S.B.1300, currently stalled in the Senate, would tighten noise restrictions on privately owned jets and could ground many warbird jets.

The Senate bill provision prohibits a civil subsonic turbojet with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less to operate to or from an airport in the U.S. unless in compliance with stage 3 noise levels. A few general aviation jets and many more warbird jets do not comply with Stage 3 noise restrictions, but fall under less restrictive Stage 2 standards. Warbird owners and enthusiasts fear that imposing Stage 3 standards would ground those aircraft.

In the House version (H.R.2881) EAA and the Warbirds of America were instrumental in getting aircraft with experimental certificates exempted from the Stage 3 standard. That exemption includes virtually all jet Warbirds.

“Since there is no movement on the Senate version of the FAA Reauthorization Bill right now, there is little opportunity to amend it to include the exemption for experimentals,” explained Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. “EAA and Warbirds of America are working with Congress on this issue, urging Senators to support the language of the House version that exempts aircraft with experimental certificates, including warbirds. At the appropriate time we will also be working with the House/Senate Conference Committee that will eventually produce an FAA funding bill for the president to sign.”

The Senate bill has been stalled in Senate committees over general aviation user fees and other non-aviation-related provisions. Senate aides say there is little chance that the Senate will act on the bill before this fall or before next year.

Meanwhile, Congress is expected to extend FAA’s existing budget - possibly into 2009 - by the time the current extension expires on June 30, which will keep the agency in operation until a new bill is passed. Under that budget extension, no new noise restrictions will be in force.

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