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NBAA Brings Business Aviation Perspective to Airport Conference
June 29, 2012
NBAA representatives recently joined with other industry officials to discuss several important general aviation (GA) airport topics at the General Aviation Issues and Security Conference, which was presented by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Aviation Management Consulting Group on June 24 and 26 in Reno, NV.
"This is an important part of our ongoing advocacy effort on behalf of business aviation," said Dick Doubrava, NBAA director, legislative affairs. "These events give us the valuable opportunity to remind the audience not only about the value of general aviation, but also the specific benefits of our industry. Business aviation brings economic opportunity and jobs to main street America."
Doug Carr, NBAA vice president, safety, security, operations & regulation, brought a business aviation perspective to the "Security Roundtable" discussion.
"The conversation included general aviation access to DCA [Ronald Reagan Washington International Airport in Washington, DC] and recent improvements to that process that have brought additional flexibility," Carr said. "We also talked of how operators may utilize gateway access to airports affected by temporary flight restrictions."
Another major topic of discussion involved improvements to the processes used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to clear foreign aircraft for entry into the country. "Customs is the first interaction that foreign citizens have when entering the United States, and there were many stories about how that first experience was not always a pleasant one,” Carr said. “NBAA is working through some programs now with CBP to ease this process, which we hope to discuss more thoroughly in the months ahead."
Doubrava was among the speakers at the "State of the General Aviation Industry" conference session. "One of the most prominent topics we discussed was the FAA reauthorization bill," he noted. "The four-year reauthorization package, signed into law in February, maintains the current fuel-tax mechanism as the method GA operators use to pay for FAA services. Reauthorization also lays important groundwork for "NextGen," giving both the FAA and the aviation community a roadmap to move forward in this national effort to modernize the nation's air traffic control system."
The “State of GA” session also discussed the fiscal year 2013 Department of Transportation appropriations bill now under consideration in the House of Representatives. "The FY2013 package would maintain level funding for the Airport Improvement Program for another year, ensuring that GA airports are appropriately funded and permitting vital improvement projects to continue," Doubrava said. "It also provides funding for research into lead-free avgas alternatives for piston-powered general aviation aircraft. NBAA strongly supports those efforts."
Other participants in the conference included representatives from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Association of State Aviation Officials and the National Air Transportation Association.