Just when it seemed the LightSquared-GPS contest had run its course, a pair of latecomers–Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.)–wrote to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposing that the agency should now find a vacant block of radio spectrum in which LightSquared could launch another attempt at its nationwide Internet plan.
When President Obama was in his business aviation-bashing mode earlier this year, the general aviation industry countered with a rally in Wichita that attracted more than 2,000 GA workers. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was there, and he lauded the importance of general aviation manufacturers to the state of Kansas and the U.S. industrial base as a whole.
With the rancor over business jet use now receding in Congress’s rear-view mirror, House and Senate lawmakers are jumping in line to extend accelerated depreciation for major equipment purchases– including general aviation aircraft–in 2010.
General aviation late last week won a major battle, but not yet the entire war, against user fees. The House of Representatives last Thursday approved H.R.2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, and the next morning the Senate Finance Committee drastically modified the tax provisions in its companion bill, S.1300.
— Congress returned from a 10-day break over St. Patrick’s Day but scheduled another recess in mid-April for Easter. Looking ahead, Congress anticipates shutting down shop in October in preparation for the November elections. Time is running out fairly rapidly for the 109th Congress, and it appears that the second session will meet fewer than 130 days.