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HAI Applauds Senate Commerce Committee Vote on FAA Reauthorization Bill

HAI Applauds Senate Commerce Committee Vote on FAA Reauthorization BillFollowing the Senate markup of the FAA reauthorization bill, Helicopter Association International (HAI) applauds the Senate Commerce Committee on pursuing a commonsense approach to FAA funding.

“We commend Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) for reaching out to members of the general aviation community during the drafting process so that the committee could better understand the implications of proposed policies to our industry,” says Matthew Zuccaro, president and CEO of HAI.

Zuccaro says, “The Committee has shown itself to be defenders of general aviation (GA) with their vote against ATC privatization. While HAI fully supports the advancement of technology in the form of NextGen, we do not believe there is a need to fundamentally change the structure of air traffic control. Put simply, the United States has the safest, most efficient system in the world; what are we trying to fix?"

HAI also thanks Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) for his tireless efforts in protecting and promoting GA. Senator Inhofe’s FLIGHT ACT of 2017 addresses essential investments and improvements in airport and heliport infrastructure, and he expands on the Pilot’s Bill of Rights through inclusion of his Fairness for Pilots Act. Senator Inhofe’s Volunteer Pilot Protection Act of 2017 provides important protections to the GA community volunteering in flights for the public benefit. Additionally, Senator Inhofe’s amendment to create a new program to expand the aviation maintenance workforce comes at a critical time when the industry is attempting to attract new talent. Zuccaro adds, “We especially thank Senator Inhofe for including helicopter infrastructure as an eligible construction or improvement project. Senator Inhofe is a stalwart defender of the entire GA community including the helicopter industry.”

Zuccaro continues, “GA generates more than one million jobs and more than 200 billion for the American economy, and helicopters are an important GA segment that fly missions for the greater good of society that no other aircraft can do. We appreciate the Senate Commerce Committee leadership and their staff in taking an active role to learn about our issues and perspectives. The Senate bill’s approach ensures the vitality of the GA industry in America.”

Zuccaro concludes by reaffirming HAI’s commitment to work for passage of the Senate FAA reauthorization bill. “We will work with Congress and the administration to push for the passage of these consensus-driven policies aimed at moving U.S. aviation forward.”