The General Aviation Manufacturers Association praised passage of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill but, at the same time, expressed concern over a provision that would invalidate a bilateral aviation safety agreement with the European Union, threatening safety cooperation with Europe and potentially jeopardizing thousands of U.S. jobs across the country.
“It is absolutely critical that we move forward on the reauthorization of the FAA programs,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA’s president and CEO. “Reauthorization will expedite modernization of the air traffic system and help ensure that the FAA can address resource shortages in the certification process.”
However, Bunce expressed concerns about a requirement for the FAA to send inspectors to Europe twice a year for mandated inspections of FAA-certified repair stations, which would prevent the implementation of the US-EU bilateral safety agreement, Bunce pointed out. “The consequences of eliminating the safety agreement with the EU would threaten continued certification of EASA-certified repair stations and safety cooperation in areas such as pilot training, operating requirements and new aircraft certifications. That would place many American jobs unnecessarily at risk,” said Bunce.
A bipartisan group of 54 House members, led by Congressman John Barrow (D-GA), signed a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership urging an amendment to the provision to “protect the tens of thousands of American jobs that rely on continued U.S. leadership of the global aviation industry.” Rep. Aaron Schock had asked for an amendment to Section 303 to protect the safety agreement, but it was denied by the House Rules Committee.
“As this bill moves forward, we must change Section 303 to protect the safety agreement,” Bunce said. “It not only improves safety but helps sustain our industry’s record as a contributor to a positive balance of trade, and more importantly, protects tens of thousands of high-paying American jobs.”
For information: www.gama.aero