AOPA, NBAA Respond To FAA Plan

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AOPA President Phil Boyer said he was "very encouraged" by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's reactions to the FAA's proposed reauthorization blueprint. The hearing featured "a lot of blunt, outspoken dialogue," he said, and he expects all 535 members of Congress will closely scrutinize the FAA plan, and consider its effect on their constituents. The general public may have only a vague idea of what GA is, Boyer said, but "the members of Congress get it -- they understand GA." And AOPA plans to talk to all of them, one by one. Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, said it's too early, though, to tell the "overall reaction" of Congress to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's proposal. He added that the proposal represents a "sweetheart deal" for the airlines, a first step toward privatization of the airspace system and would require a lot of new and unnecessary bureaucracy to collect and process fees. Aviation Week reported on Wednesday that Blakey's plan faces "strong congressional opposition...and even agency officials acknowledge privately that there is almost no chance Congress will sign off on her proposal."