Tag: HR 658

It Depends Upon Who You Talk To

It appears political posturing is ramping up as the stalled FAA Reauthorization Bill is once again headed toward a shutdown of the FAA. In a recent meeting of the Aero Club of Washington, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate’s transportation committee, accused the GOP of stubbornly holding up the bill in favor of one airline’s fight to stave off the unionization of its work force, and deemed it unlikely that Congress would resolve the bitter deadlock over long-term federal funding for aviation this year.

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Congress Reconvenes to Complete the FAA Re-Authorization Act

After a two week spring break, Congress reconvenes this week and will take up the work of completing the FAA Re-Authorization Act. Both the Senate Bill (S. 223) and the House Bill (H.R. 658) have passed their respective houses and have been sent to Conference Committee for reconciliation. The Senate has officially called for a conference on the legislation and has named its conferees. The House is expected to respond to the request this week. The AMA remains hopeful that the model aviation exemption provided in the Senate version of the bill will be accepted and moved into the final bill.

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Conference Committee to Consider Language to Protect Model Aircraft

The political process of creating legislation is more of an art than a science, and the fact that H.R. 658 does not include an exemption for model aviation (MA) does not necessarily mean there wasn’t support for such an amendment. Quite honestly there is a significant amount of backing in the House for our issues, and numerous Representatives have come forward with pledges of support and offers to assist in protecting MA from onerous regulation.

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House approves (H.R. 658)

No April Fools…

Yesterday, 4/1, the House voted 223-196 to approve the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act (H.R. 658). The bill would reauthorize the FAA’s operations and programs for four years, at an overall funding level of $59.7 billion. The House bill essentially rolls back FAA spending authorization to 2008 levels. The House bill does not include an amendment mirroring the one included in S. 223 which exempts modeling activity conducted in accordance with a community-based set of guidelines from regulation.

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Our Message is Being Heard

Over the past two weeks tens of thousands of AMA members and model aviation supporters have written over 80,000 individual letters to members of Congress expressing their concern regarding FAA’s intent to regulate model aircraft, and there are clear signs that our message is being heard. Scores of Congressmen have responded to their constituents with letters of understanding and support. Below are excerpts from a few of the letters sent from Capitol Hill. Though an amendment protecting model aviation has not yet been introduced into H.R. 658, we now have several supporters in the House and at this point the legislative process is taking its course. Last Thursday the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act was sent to the House Committee on the Judiciary and is expected to return to the floor next week. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, but at this point we are seeing positive movement in the House of Representatives and we are optimistic that Congress will act to protect model aviation from unnecessary and potentially debilitating federal regulation.

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House Bill Does Not Yet Protect Model Aviation

Both the Senate and the House have prepared Bills that address the FAA’s Re-Authorization. S.223 has already passed the Senate and it contains an amendment to exempt model aviation. Click here to view the amendment. H.R. 658 is on the House floor awaiting passage and does NOT yet have a similar amendment. We are actively meeting with Representatives on the Hill and working to build support for such an amendment. While we have had many promising meetings, we still need your help.

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