2005 Press Releases

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NBAA Commends Prompt Action in House Committees on Bills to Reopen National Airport to General Aviation

T&I Committee Approves Bill With Stepped-Up Introduction Timeline; Homeland Security Committee Language Mandates Return of General Aviation to DCA

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, April 28, 2005 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today praised Congressional leaders for advancing two recently introduced pieces of legislation for reopening Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation yesterday.

"By their actions, House leaders are reaffirming that the time has long since come and gone for federal security officials to implement a plan that protects security while bringing economic activity back to National Airport," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

"We are pleased that both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Homeland Security Committee underscored their strong commitment to restoring general aviation access to National Airport by passing two pieces of legislation on the matter."

First, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously adopted H.R. 1496, which requires the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security (DHS) to implement a plan to re-introduce general aviation traffic at National Airport.

As part of the Committee's proceedings, an amendment was offered by Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-7-FL) that shortens the timeline to return general aviation to DCA from within 180 days of enactment of the bill (as drafted in the original proposal) to within 60 days after the bill becomes law. Additionally, Mica's amendment directs the FAA to consult with the general aviation industry in developing its plan for reopening the airport to general aviation operators.

Both provisions are included in the version of the bill adopted by the full Committee, which now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives. In approving the legislation, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders called for expedient consideration of the measure by the full House of Representatives.

H.R. 1496 was introduced on April 6 by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-At Large-AK), Minority Ranking Member Jim Oberstar (D-8-MN), Rep. Mica, Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerry Costello (D-12-IL) and Committee Member Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC).

In a second significant development, the House Homeland Security Committee included language to reopen DCA to general aviation in the pending Homeland Security authorization bill. The measure was offered by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Chris Cox (R-48-CA), Rep. Tom Davis (R-11-VA), Rep. Don Young (R-At Large-AK) and Del. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC).

The amendment calls upon DHS to implement requirements first mandated in the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, permitting general aviation aircraft to operate at DCA. The amendment introduced yesterday requires DHS to re-admit general aviation into DCA no later than 180 days after passage of the Homeland Security authorization bill.

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Founded in 1947, NBAA serves more than 7,000 Member Companies by promoting the aviation interests of organizations utilizing business aircraft in the United States and worldwide. The association provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.