MATA, MBAA and MCOA Representatives Meet with Minnesota Congressional Delegates
April 06, 2016
The president of the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association (MATA), Greg Reigel, along with Joe Hedrick from the Minnesota Council of Airports (MCOA) and Gordon Hoff, Executive Director of the Minnesota Business Aviation Association (MBAA), recently met with Senator Klobuchar and Representatives Nolan, Ellison and Peterson, as well as staff members from the offices of the remaining Minnesota Congressional delegates. Reigel, Hoff and Hedrick thanked them for their support of general aviation and encouraged their continuing support on critical issues that will impact general aviation, both nationally and in Minnesota.
In their meetings, they discussed the pending FAA Reauthorization and the House bill that included legislation intended to privatize air traffic control system. They explained the adverse impact privatization would have on general aviation and stressed the need for the FAA, and Congress, to retain oversight of the ATC system.
The trio also emphasized the need for a multi-year reauthorization that will sustain funding for multi-year projects and reiterated the industry's frustration with the last reauthorization and the adverse impact on the industry resulting from the multiple continuing resolutions that were required before final reauthorization was passed.
In each of their meetings, the representatives discussed the shortage of pilots and mechanics and how these shortages are already impacting general aviation. To that end, they also emphasized the importance of the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2 (PBOR2) and its third-class medical reform that will allow more pilots to fly without a third-class medical certificate, saving both pilots and the federal government millions of dollars each year without decreasing safety.
The PBOR2 also provides a range of other protections for anyone holding a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate when dealing with the agency, in particular when facing FAA enforcement actions. They urged the delegates to support the PBOR2 measures, whether they are included within the FAA Reauthorization or offered as separate bills.
Other issues raised with the delegates included the continuation of Essential Air Service for rural communities that need assistance to keep commercial air service at their airports and maintaining the current 5-year depreciation schedule for aircraft.
They thanked those delegates who are already members of the General Aviation Caucus for their participation and encouraged those who are not to consider joining. The conversations were productive and the delegates and their staffs all recognized the importance of general aviation to both the economy and the national air transportation system. Reigel, Hoff and Hedrick all look forward to working with the delegates in the future to support and grow general aviation in Minnesota.