Pilots In Left And Right Seat In Senate
For the first time, two pilots are in command of their respective parties. Senate majority leader Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and minority leader Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) are both AOPA members, and Sen. Daschle has twice been the recipient of its Hartranft Award for his work on aviation legislation in the past. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), also a Hartranft recipient, heads up the aviation subcommittee. AOPA President Phil Boyer said this Congress will make some key decisions that will affect all pilots and he's pleased to have "two of our own" in charge. A comprehensive aviation funding package known as FAA reauthorization will be tackled in this session as will spending bills for all manner of service improvements for pilots. The Senate wasted no time getting an aviation bill on the table. The bill to protect Chicago's Miegs Field was introduced on the first day of the new session. That bill died in the Senate last year after having been passed by the House of Representatives. A companion bill is expected in the House soon.