Patience Is A Virtue

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Sport Pilot Proposal Sits...

With so much attention focused on flying machines this week, hope seems to be brewing that the long-awaited Sport Pilot NPRM might be about to take another step forward. "We're keeping our fingers crossed," the FAA's Sue Gardner told AVweb on Saturday, "that we might have an announcement before the New Year." We'll suggest that breath-holding is still not recommended. The proposal was expected to undergo a 90-day review by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and then move on to the next step, but the 90-day mark passed long ago. Gardner said the proposal was reviewed by the DOT in a timely manner, shortly after Oshkosh, and "There was some back and forth, and some questions [from the DOT to FAA] were answered," and then the process seemed to grind to a halt. The paperwork now remains mired somewhere on the desktop of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. "We don't know what the holdup is," Gardner said. Mineta and FAA Administrator Marion Blakey have met several times since then, Gardner said. "We hope each time they meet, that this will be addressed," she said. "They are to meet again in the near future, and we are hopeful they will discuss it."