...Dialogue Goes Unrecorded

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AOPA was among the first to rally against the NPRM and demand public meetings. Spokesman Jeff Myers said the lost transcripts just seem like another example of the "folly" that surrounds the rule and the FAA's seemingly dogged determination to implement it. "It's sad and embarrassing and disappointing," said Myers. He said that while all the written submissions survived, what's missing is the give and take, ad-libs and poignant diversions that are the hallmarks of a spirited public dialogue. Myers said the rule does nothing beneficial and the FAA and industry's energy shouldn't be consumed by debating it. "This should be shut down," he said. (And he didn't mean the charity flights.) The NPRM was posted in late October and drew immediate and sustained criticism. In addition to the normal 90-day comment period, the FAA conducted a weeklong, Internet-based public meeting. In April the agency extended the comment period and added the public meetings. The FAA was unable to comment in time for our deadline.