10:31 AM

AOPA thrilled
with election results

Whether your political party was the one who swept into power this past Tuesday, or was the one swept out, AOPA’s Phil Boyer says the shake-up in our government was good for GA:

"This shift in power in Congress changes the picture for us on the user fee fight, but it doesn't mean we've won the battle. However, now we can be assured of a fair hearing from people who understand aviation and aren't beholden to the White House."
One huge thing that this pilot loves about the results is that my guy on Capitol Hill, Representative Peter DeFazio (D), Oregon, is one of two contenders to lead the powerful aviation subcommittee. His opponent will be Jerry Costello (D), Illinois. AOPA says they have a long relationship with these key individuals, and both have “demonstrated a willingness to listen and understand the ramifications” of user fees on GA.

Another very powerful Committee in WDC is the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The shift to Democratic control will most likely put Rep. Jim Oberstar (D), Minnesota in charge of that group of decision makers. Oberstar is a longtime friend to GA and has historically opposed privatizing air traffic control, and is highly skeptical of any changes to the current, proven FAA funding system.

Boyer and AOPA are aware of who makes up their base:
"This election was a referendum, with American voters making statements about corruption, terrorism, the economy, and the war in Iraq," said Boyer. "On these broader issues, some of our members are likely unhappy with the results. But on the specific issue of aviation funding and user fees, we're well positioned with the people newly in power who will, at the very least, listen to us."
AOPA gave its support to 143 candidates this election, and more than 90 percent of the AOPA-backed candidates were elected. When it comes time to talk about user fees, those winners will remember — and listen to the arguments from the GA community.

I see that as a major victory for GA. It is just now sinking in that we pilots may now actually have a chance to get a fair shake in Washington again, now that our government has stepped back from the abyss.

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