GA's $100 Million Bill Up In Smoke...

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No Surprise -- No Relief...

A $100 million provision for relief to GA companies hurt by the airspace restrictions following 9/11, in keeping with the fate of all other such efforts so far in Washington, has failed to make the final cut in the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. As late as last week, the provision was still intact, but it had vanished by last Thursday, when the Senate passed the bill, putting an abrupt end to efforts by Democrats to keep it in play. President Bush signed the bill into law on Friday. Pete West, of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), told AVweb this week, "The classic line in this town is this: Now we have to work on the '05 appropriations process." In other words, there's always next year. "Senators [Richard] Shelby (R-Ala.) and [Patty] Murray (D-Wash.), and others, were working with us, and they were confident they could get this passed, but other Senate priorities superseded their effort," West said. More controversial measures diverted funding and focus from general aviation, the NBAA said.