Bill Would Make FAA An Aviation Advocate

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The aviation industry needs a strong voice of support in Washington and some loud voices are nominating the FAA. Flanked by the CEOs of the country's three largest GA companies (Cessna, Raytheon and Bombardier) Rep. Todd Tiarht (R-Kan.) announced he intends to introduce legislation that would restore cheerleading status to the FAA. Congress removed the FAA's mandate to promote the aviation industry in 1996 out of fears the agency was getting too chummy with the industry it regulates. But Tiahrt said the U.S. government's hands-off approach to aviation is hurting the industry. "I believe it is imperative that the U.S. government is engaged in promoting an industry that has lost ground to government-subsidized companies throughout the world," said Tiarht. "We cannot continue to force our companies to compete on an uneven playing field." Cessna CEO Jack Pelton, Raytheon boss Jim Schuster and Bombardier/Learjet President Peter Edwards took turns endorsing Tiarht's proposed bill. "This new effort to make the federal government more proactive in promoting out nation's aerospace industry is long overdue," said Edwards. Pelton noted that "nothing affects American aviation like our government, both positively and negatively" and Schuster said that while business is booming now, there are still plenty of problems to be worked out.