AirVenture Oshkosh is the place - the only place -
where legislators and aviation administrators, technicians, and field agents
from all levels of government come to talk with and listen to the grass-roots
aviation community - from weekend pilots and amateur builders to the top
executives of the leading aviation manufacturers. Only in Oshkosh can these
officials see and interact with the people who make up the spirit of
aviation, and the individuals and groups that lead the industry forward.
Many of these government leaders spend the
entire week at AirVenture meeting with industry experts and pilots of all
experience levels to talk about the future of aviation around the world. And
through the efforts of EAA and its members, the conversations and collaborative
efforts that begin at Oshkosh will continue throughout the year.
At AirVenture 2008, members of the U.S. House
Aviation Subcommittee will again be here to observe and learn about aviation
innovation. They will take part in a public forum at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, July
28, at Sporty’s Pavilion 6, and will also meet with EAA officials and other
key members of the aviation community about regulatory and legislative issues
looming on the horizon.
Acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell will be
at Oshkosh for several days to interact with aviation enthusiasts and for the
annual “Meet the Administrator” forum, 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 31 at
Honda Aircraft Pavilion 7. The EAA community is a significant force in aviation
- so much so that the FAA administrator devotes a lot of time to attending
AirVenture, more than any other aviation gathering during the year.
Two key issues already loom large in discussions
between FAA officials and the general aviation community this year:
- Proposed User Fees and other provisions
in the FAA funding bills now in Congress: Pressure from EAA members and the
general aviation community pushed GA user fees off the table - for now. But
the airlines and the administration are still pressing hard for user fees
and other provisions that would hurt general aviation, and the extra time
will only allow them to bolster their case.
Action on the FAA funding bill is stalled in the Senate and no one knows
what the final bill will look like, but EAA and its members will continue to
fight hard against user fees and to encourage Congress to pass a fair and
responsible FAA funding bill.
- The 51% Rule: Sometime prior to
AirVenture, EAA expects the FAA will issue its proposed new policy for
administering and enforcing the 51% Rule - the requirement that builders
complete “the major portion” of the work to construct an amateur-built
airplane. The FAA recently announced that it will “grandfather” all
aircraft kits approved previously under the existing Amateur-Built Category
rules, a provision that the EAA community proposed and pushed hard for. EAA,
FAA, and Homebuilt Aircraft Council officials will each hold public forums
at AirVenture to discuss the proposed policy language.
EAA is committed to preserving the Amateur-Built Category and the privileges
and freedoms that amateur builders currently enjoy. Look for opportunities
to voice your support for responsible policy in homebuilding from EAA at
AirVenture and in the months to come.
These are just two of the many issues that will
be addressed at AirVenture by government officials and aviation enthusiasts, in
conversations, forums, and work groups. The enthusiasm and dedication of EAA
members give AirVenture the importance and the credibility to make it happen
with elected officials that rely on our members for sound advice and a
realistic picture of the impact of aviation policy on everyday pilots from
around the country.