NBAA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA UPDATE
On June 15 House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster, announced his intentions to include provisions for a new privatized air traffic control system in his FAA Funding Reauthorization bill. NBAA openly opposes removing the nation’s airspace from protection by Congress, and placing it in the hands of a private, self-interested Board of Directors. On June 22 NBAA president, Ed Bolen, issued a Call to Action asking members to contact congress to express their concern and opposition to a privatized air traffic control system funded by user fees. To learn more about Shuster’s proposal and the threat it would bring to business aviation operations, visit our Contact Congress webpage at http://www.nbaa.org/advocacy/contact/. Here you can also access a quick link to your congressional representative and email your concerns.
California Legislative Action
In December last year, FAA Compliance Director Randy Fiertz, issued a clarification of FAA policy concerning sales tax on aviation fuels. The policy makes it clear that all state and local taxes collected from aviation fuel sales on airports must be used for aviation purposes. California State Senator Mike McGuire introduced SB 747 to bring California into compliance with FAA policy, and assure state jet fuel and avgas taxes would be directed into the State Aviation Fund and used for airport improvements. SB 747 would stop the diversion of aviation fuel tax dollars into the state general fund. The bill did not move through all its assigned committees during the 2014-15 session, but it is still under study by legislators with input from NBAA and other industry users, and is expected to move forward in the 2015-16 session.
In June NBAA and other aviation associations helped defeat Representative Adam Schiff’s amendment to the Transportation and Housing appropriation to place a night curfew on the Burbank Airport. “Such a precedent would open the floodgates to … a patchwork of confusing and complex operations restrictions across the country” NBAA explained in a letter to the committee.
At a meeting of the SMO City Council last spring, Congressional Reps Liue and Bass pledged to arrange a meeting with FAA for Council members. That meeting is scheduled to take place July 8 in Washington DC, and representatives from the Santa Monica Airport Association as well as anti-airport stakeholders have been invited to participate.
Regional Forum in Van Nuys
NBAA’s Meetings and Conventions team met with members of the Van Nuys Airport Association and LAWA to begin planning a Regional Forum for 2016. Van Nuys Forums have always been well attended, and the growing need for space means more careful coordination to assure ease of access to the Forum with minimum impacts to VNY normal operations.