Earlier this week the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the latest FAA reauthorization bill, dubbed the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, and it seems, according to response from numerous industry groups, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the latter of which referred to the proposal as a Òleap of faith,Ó which the organization would not support.
The sea change in the proposal that concerns every member and industry organization would transfer federal air traffic control authority to a not-for-profit corporation controlled by a board of members from various industry constituencies, effectively ceding control over air traffic services to private concerns. The new organization would be funded by users fees with the industry having little say over how those fees are established or how and when they can be increased to meet the rising costs of running the organization, which would be determined by the same private board.
The proposal will be tough one to fight against, as it contains provisions for a liberalized Òdriver’s licenseÓ medical certification, a codified pilots’ bill of rights, and proposals to push through liberalized aircraft certification standards as part of the Part 23 Rewrite.
The committee was expected to consider the legislation soon.