The Numbers Game

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Lobbying For GA Relief...

As the FAA's latest funding bill wends its way through the torturous twists and turns of Congress, amid much noisy debate over privatization issues, another item affecting GA is embedded in the legislation: cash relief to businesses affected by 9/11 and its aftermath. In its latest incarnation, the bill includes $100 million to help FBOs, flight schools, charter operators, manufacturers, and other GA businesses. A group of sympathetic senators last Thursday sent a letter to the Senate's appropriations committee, lobbying for that funding. "[It] will provide the critical support needed ... to revitalize this critical segment of the aviation industry," they wrote. Senators who signed the letter were: John Warner (R-Va.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), George Allen (R-Va.), and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). Their effort was recognized by National Air Transportation Association President James Coyne. "We once again thank our stalwart supporters for joining the cause to compensate rightfully and fairly those businesses that have suffered immeasurable losses because of airspace and security restrictions imposed upon them by the federal government," Coyne said in a news release last Thursday. "We hope [their] letter will be an influential factor towards ensuring that these funds are appropriated." With current FAA funding set to expire on Friday, the pressure is on to get a new bill authorized, and a vote is expected this week or next.