As many of you are aware, HAI has as two of its top priorities the defense of your right to access the airspace and the maintenance of an operating environment absent of overburdensome, ill-conceived regulations and legislative mandates.
Of the several critical issues we are currently dealing with, one demands your immediate attention.
The Joint Conference Committee appointed to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the Highway Reauthorization Bill is set to meet next week (May 8). Although it’s a highway bill, it contains a poison pill amendment for the helicopter industry — one HAI needs your help to fight.
Embedded in the Senate version, S. 1813, is language inserted by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that minimizes the FAA’s congressionally mandated authority to safely and efficiently manage and regulate the National Airspace System. The amendment instead carves out airspace over our national parks and gives the National Park Service authority to regulate air tour operators over the parks. HAI believes the Alexander amendment is unacceptable, establishes a dangerous precedent, and would transfer the FAA’s statutory role in overseeing air safety to third parties.
Sen. Alexander developed his amendment without the participation of affected stakeholders and without any consultation from the air tour industry. This dangerous, precedent-setting amendment compromises passenger safety and thousands of air tour-related jobs during a time of high unemployment, in addition to threatening the very existence of a vital tourism-based industry.
All stakeholders in the helicopter industry should contact the conference committee members, especially if you reside in a district or state represented by one of the conferees. Because you are one of their constituents, your help is critical in getting the message to the actual decision-makers in Washington.
Click here for a list of House conferees and their Washington, D.C., telephone numbers.
Click here for a list of Senate conferees and their Washington, D.C., telephone numbers.
Below are some points you may wish to use in explaining the danger the Alexander amendment poses if it remains in the final Highway Reauthorization Bill:
You need to act now. Thank you for your continued support.