What’s under the tree?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Information leaks in this town are means of communications. The only times politicians click their tongues in shame are when the leakers get caught.

Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that information was leaked to me about what certain individuals will be receiving for Christmas. True to my journalistic profession, I will never reveal my source even if I have to spend several weeks in a local jail. My lips are sealed, so help me St. Nick.

Anyway, here goes:

– Phil Boyer, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), will find under his tree a clone of himself so he can be in two places at once as his schedule demands.

– Jim Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), will receive a scholarship to the International School of Juggling so he can safely keep in the air all the many different balls of on-demand air taxi services and fixed base operators of varying sizes.

– Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), will get his own scale model of Washington Reagan Airport and dozens of model business jets that he can land and take off at his will.

– The president of the airlines’ Air Transport Association, James May, is receiving a large history book detailing how 35 to 40 years ago the airlines tried to push general aviation aside by proposing fees and restrictions, as he is now doing. Several chapters will reveal the bruising the airlines took when one courageous person — Max Karant of AOPA — began firing back.

– Marion Blakey, FAA administrator, will receive that proverbial bundle of switches for the poor-mouth claim that money is tight while awarding some $5 million in management bonuses to finish out 2004, as the National Air Traffic Controllers Association claims.

– Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), will get 50 specially-made iPods to pass out to the presidents of his member companies. Each iPod will have only one recording — the droning of a single-engine airplane — as a reminder that only a big base of these will support the airfield and service structure the biz jets need.

– Every general aviation pilot can look for a new invention of eye glasses that help them see the invisible wall around TFRs and the ADIZ.

– Kip Hawley, Transportation Security Administration director, will find under his tree a year’s supply of aspirin to ease the headaches some GA pilots are causing by busting the Washington ADIZ.

I’ve also learned that on Dec. 24, the FAA plans to clear the airways to provide rapid and safe conditions for a special flight from the North Pole.

Charles Spence is GAN’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.

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