Amid Pressure To Reopen DCA To GA...

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A Third Congressional Committee Weighs In

The political impetus to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation gained some ground earlier this week with the approval of a bill by the House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which calls for restoration of GA access within 90 days of the bill's passage. The subcommittee's bill becomes the third such bill to be approved for House consideration, following similar efforts from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Homeland Security. And while the previous bills were lauded by the aviation community, the latest may carry more weight because it's attached to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) financial lifeline. The appropriations committee included the DCA provision as part of the funding bill for DHS through fiscal year 2006. Now, it and the other two bills have a long way to go before reopening DCA to GA becomes a legislative (and practical) reality, but the sheer number of bills expressing the sentiment guarantees, at the very least, a serious look by the House. National Air Transportation Association President James K. Coyne said the congressional pressure on the White House is appreciated. "The association is hopeful that with the enormous amount of attention Congress is giving to this issue, we will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel," he said in a news release.