WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leaking news to reporters is a favorite indoor sport practiced by almost everyone in this town. While most reporters will not reveal their sources, I gladly will. My source for these items comes straight from the top man himself — Santa Claus. He revealed to me what some of Washington’s movers and shakers have asked him to deliver this year.
Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), would like to have a computer virus infect any government mention of “”user”" fees and change it to “”refuser.”" He told Santa that he would gladly share his present with all other general aviation groups.
Marion Blakey, FAA administrator, wants a formula that lets her continue reducing personnel and — if user fees are permitted to be established — to hire more and more personnel to keep track of which aircraft are using what services, for how long, how to calculate costs, how to bill, how to collect, etc., etc., etc.
Phil Boyer, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), told Santa he wants no presents delivered, preferring instead that Santa deliver sacks of coal to the few naughty pilots who carelessly fly into the ADIZ or Temporary Flight Restricted areas, giving all general aviation problems.
Peter Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), wants chopsticks in anticipation of opening up the Asian market to more general aviation aircraft. He says he has a “”yen”" for additional GA activity in Japan and hopes the Chinese monetary unit — the “”Yuan”" (8.29 yuan = $1) — means “”yuan us can do a lot of business together.”"
James May, president of the Air Transport Association (ATA), which represents airlines, wants Santa to spray insect repellant around all the cities his airlines serve to keep those gnat-like little airplanes out of what he likes to call “”commercial airspace.”"
Managers of airports within the Washington ADIZ are asking for feather dusters to wipe away the cobwebs that have settled on their cash registers because of lack of business.
Tom Poberezny, president of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), is disappointed about this year’s holiday season. After working with the FAA for more than a decade to produce the Sport Pilot license, Tom asked Santa to forego use of the sled and reindeer this year in favor of making his rounds in one of the many Light Sport Aircraft to supplement EAA’s Sport Pilot Tour promoting the new category. Santa refused. The Old Gent confided in me that he must fly IFR at times and LSAs are VFR — a Very Fine Revival.
After leaking these items to me and before going out of sight, Santa said Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!
Charles Spence is GAN’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.