Washington, DC, Dec. 12 2013 – In testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on aviation policy today, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen reiterated his Membership’s commitment to continued support for aviation system modernization, and collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in preserving America’s world-leadership role in aviation.
“The general aviation community is committed to working with the FAA, Congress and others to explore ways to do more, and do it better, with regard to aviation safety, operations and technologies, despite flat or declining government resources,” Bolen stated before the aviation subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. “We want to be a constructive party in this conversation.”
Bolen addressed key aspects the NBAA believes are imperative for the agency to perform its mission effectively, while also reducing costs. These include streamlining the certification process for light aircraft; moving toward further consolidation of agency departments and functions, as outlined in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012; and prioritizing development of Next-Generation (“NextGen”) air traffic control management technologies.
“As the members of this subcommittee are well aware, the transition to a ‘NextGen’ air-transportation system will advance important national objectives, including further reduction of the industry’s environmental footprint, the reduction of long-term costs at the FAA, enhancements to safety, expansion of system capacity and reductions in delays,” Bolen said. “No other nation’s aviation system comes close to matching our own; at the same time, we recognize that this is not a time for complacency, or for accepting the status quo.”
Bolen also highlighted three of NBAA’s “Guiding Principles” for lawmakers and the FAA to follow in coming policy and legislative discussions affecting the general aviation (GA) community, including business aviation:
• Federal investment in the FAA through a robust general fund contribution to the agency's operating budget;
• Preservation of the general aviation fuel-based revenue system, which provides an efficient, fair funding mechanism from the GA community, while also encouraging investment in newer, cleaner, quieter and more efficient aircraft;
• Continued direct congressional oversight over the FAA funding system, providing a stable and consistent level of funding for the national aviation system.
Bolen concluded his remarks by commending aviation subcommittee members for engaging with industry representatives and other stakeholders in this and future discussions on strengthening the nation's aviation infrastructure.
“Ensuring that the United States continues to lead the world in aviation is clearly in our country’s interest, and must remain a national imperative,” he said. “NBAA and the larger business aviation community look forward to working with you and other congressional leaders on policies that support our nation's aviation system today, and ensure that it retains its world-leadership position in the future.”