Bolen: Time To Court Congressmen for General Aviation Caucuses

AIN News Live » NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers » 2013
Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO
Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO urged attendees at the Schedulers and Dispatchers event to request that their representatives join the general aviation caucus.
January 23, 2013, 3:00 PM

This morning at the opening session of NBAA’s 24th annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen looked to the start of the new session of Congress and used his podium to issue an impassioned plea for show attendees to contact their representatives, requesting they join the general aviation caucus.

“One thing I have learned after nine years of coming to Schedulers and Dispatchers is that the people that come to this conference are doers–you guys make things happen, so I am coming to you today to ask you to get it done,” he told the audience gathered in the ballroom of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. Despite the last session being generally regarded as a do-nothing Congress due to partisan arguing, Bolen recounted the aviation-friendly legislation it was able to pass, including the reinstatement of the BARR program, the oft-delayed FAA reauthorization, the pilot’s bill of rights, legislation against the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and the extension of bonus depreciation.

He credited those successes to the industry’s engagement with the legislators on both sides of the aisle over the last four years. During the session of Congress that just ended, those efforts resulted in nearly 40 percent of lawmakers in both houses joining their GA caucuses, a level that Bolen said must be achieved again in the new session to provide protection for the industry against threats such as user fees. With the battles over the national debt and sequestration still facing debate, some legislators continue to view additional fees on general aviation as a source of revenue without raising taxes, he noted.

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Graham Stephenson
on January 24, 2013 - 2:56pm

Ed Bolen's speech reported above seems to address domestic matters in the USA but it should be remembered that the members of the NBAA are international. Also the EBAA plays a very important role and also works together with NBAA. The attendees are also international and are not interested in the domestic matters and contacting representatives of Congress.
S & D is an international meeting and I would expect that any address would cover international matters and not domestic US issues. These may also not be popular outside the USA, such as the legislation against the European emissions trading programme.

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Douglas E Drummond
on January 24, 2013 - 5:40pm

Obama hates airplanes as much as he hates guns, so we should all feel vulnerable. Therefore we need to do everything we possibly can. At AirVenture (Oshkosh) a couple of years ago I testified to the Aviation Subcommittee about the safety issues of User Fees--if they are instituted, there will be a lot more "Bogus IFR" and "sneaking around/under the weather." As it is now, I personally file IFR on every night cross-country for all the obvious reasons.

We need to keep after our representatives to keep what we've got.

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John Townsley
on January 24, 2013 - 5:56pm

Where does a list of current members of the GA caucus, with their voting record on GA issues, reside?

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Chad Trautvetter
on January 25, 2013 - 9:40am

AOPA has a webpage with a list of those in Congress who belong to the GA Caucus. See http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/ga_caucus.html

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