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EAA Government Advocacy - January 2010

Top Story

A Christmas (Valley) Story The airfield at the wonderfully named Christmas Valley, Oregon, is not a facility one would think would be in the center of a national aviation debate. The airport has only five taxiways leading to a single airstrip, primarily used by homeowners with their private aircraft hangared adjacent to their houses. Read More

On our Radar

On our Radar

In a November Federal Register announcement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a proposal to ensure that all aircraft repair stations that "perform maintenance, repair, overhaul, or alterations on U.S. aircraft or aircraft components, including engines, hydraulics, avionics, safety equipment, airframes, and interiors" meet tough new security standards.

The public has until January 19, 2010 to submit comment. If you are interested in commenting, you can find out how at www.SportAviation.org Please share a copy of your comments with the EAA government relations team by sending an e-mail to Govt@EAA.org.

Revisions to the Sport Pilot rule were expected to be released in mid-December. EAA believes most of the comments it submitted in 2008 will be incorporated in the revision. Watch www.EAA.org for updates to this story.

A Senate General Aviation (GA) caucus is now forming. This follows on the actions of Congressional Representatives Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Allen Boyd (D-FL), who formed a General Aviation (GA) caucus to inform fellow House members and their staffs about the value GA has to the nation’s economy and to its transportation system. The House Caucus now has 73 members. Because of the House’s overwhelming interest in GA, the Senate is now forming its own GA Caucus with the hope of working in concert with the House. Acting co-chairs, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) are calling upon their colleagues to join.

EAA in Action

EAA surveyed owners and builders of the Zodiac 601XL and 650 and learned that 87 percent of those polled have voluntarily grounded their aircraft. The 601XL/650 community is well aware of the FAA’s Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) and the Service Directive / Safety Alert issued by AMD; however they are looking for additional information from the FAA before taking action.
In Early December, Tom Poberezny visited Washington, D.C. Among his stops, he participated in a panel at the FAA's International Runway Safety Summit and met with FAA Administrator Randy Babbit.
EAA posted comments to the FAA NPRM that proposes changes to 14 CRF Parts 61, 91, and 141. Of the sixteen proposed changes, EAA was concerned specifically with 61.58, which could unintentionally have an adverse impact on both the Warbird and the amateur-built communities. As they are written, the proposed changes would require PIC proficiency checks for experimental turbojet-powered aircraft.

Earl's Epilogue

Lawrence and his 1964 Twin-Commanche

The FAA released a new Airport Compliance Manual, or FAA Order 5190.6, this past October. The document went from an original 94 pages to 691 pages! This policy covers the compliance items an airport must meet to qualify for federal funding of airport improvements. This funding comes from fuel taxes paid by pilots and aircraft owners like you.

EAA contends FAA Order 5190.6B was issued without appropriate public input that would have helped facilitate broad community acceptance. Not only was there a lack of public input in the development of the vastly expanded policy, but the FAA also published the revision with an immediately effective date. Knowing the potential damage this policy change will have on thousands of airport managers, business operators, and pilots, EAA believes it’s only proper for the FAA to have a process for public review and comment.

Making the situation worse, the FAA made the statement “Under no circumstances is the FAA to support any ‘through-the-fence’ agreement associated with residential use….” It made that statement with the knowledge that thousands of pilots and aircraft owners live in homes with TTF access, and that the GA community is particularly passionate about the dream of living near or with their aircraft. The FAA listed many reasons why it believes you should not have clear access to a public airport, but EAA believes that each issue noted could be easily addressed.

Instead of fighting TTF activities, I think the FAA should actively support such activity and work with communities to develop standardized criteria on how such agreements can be made while protecting the safety and viability of our nation’s public airports.

What do you say? Share your comments in the Hangar Talk forum on www.Oshkosh365.org

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