U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), a long-time general aviation pilot, says the FAA “must justify continuance of the Washington, D.C., ADIZ” before his Environment and Public Works Committee will reauthorize it.
Inhofe told a gathering at AirVenture that he has called a Sept. 12 meeting which top FAA, Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and other federal security officials must attend. He has invited representatives of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association and the media as well.
A year ago, the FAA was required by law to “justify the ADIZ, any changes they make, and the continuation of it,” Inhofe said. “They haven’t done it, so what we are doing is telling them that they have to do that before there is any continuation of the ADIZ.” The FAA, DoD and DHS have refused to meet with the aviation community, he said.
“In my committee room we’re going to have the very top people” from those government and GA organizations “and they are going to answer our questions,” he said.
Inhofe also commented on user fees and a bill requiring all gasoline, including aviation gasoline, to be a blend of petroleum and ethanol.
“There’s a perception out there that, if you own an airplane, you’ve got deep pockets,” he said. Some of the “financially-distressed” airlines want general aviation to pay a large part of their fees, he added.
“We’re not going to allow that to happen,” he stated flatly.
Of the blended fuel proposal he said, “That bill is not going to see the light of day.”
As he explained it, “For every hour that a general aviation plane is in the air, something like a million cars are on the road. It doesn’t make any sense to subject the aviation community to this. I’ll tell you today that we’re going to exempt aviation from that law.”
Inhofe is the only active pilot now in the Senate, he believes. “There were 12 of us 20 years ago. That’s one of the problems we have,” he concluded.
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