Undecideds, Let GA Swing Your Vote

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Anyone who is still uncertain whether to cast a vote for President Bush or John Kerry can check out AOPA Pilot's October issue to read up on their views about general aviation ... but it's pretty tough to discern much difference in their responses. The strongest distinction we could find was in regard to the air traffic control system. Is privatization on the agenda? Mr. Bush's response could be interpreted as hedging a bit: "FAA Administrator [Marion] Blakey has said that the administration has no plans to privatize the air traffic control system." Kerry's language is a bit more direct: "I oppose privatizing the air traffic control system." Beyond that, when asked about user fees, both said they support the current funding system. Both support GA airports in general, and both have experience in the cockpit -- Bush flew in the National Guard and Kerry holds a commercial pilot certificate. Both said that in choosing the next FAA administrator, they will seek candidates with experience and integrity. "Whoever is sitting in the White House after the next inauguration will have a strong influence on decisions that will greatly affect general aviation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "These will range from the appointment of an FAA Administrator to whether the Air Traffic System in our country is a government or private service. Out on the campaign trail, the candidates are discussing broad issues of foreign and domestic policy. Those are vitally important, but also we want pilots to know where they stand on GA." AOPA said it does not endorse a presidential candidate because the major decisions affecting AOPA members are decided by Congress. October's AOPA Pilot lists 13 members of Congress who AOPA considers friends of general aviation and who, based on their voting records on GA issues, the association believes members should consider for re-election.