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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 2 July 28, 2008     

House members to hold public forum

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Aviation Subcommittee arrive early today for a public forum at 11:30 a.m. in Utah Valley University Pavilion 6. It will be an opportunity for you to learn about current legislative issues relating to general aviation, and to ask questions of the House members. Doug Macnair, EAA’s vice president for government affairs, will moderate the forum.

Preserving the freedom to experiment

Two weeks ago, the FAA published proposed policy changes relating to the "51% Rule — the requirement that an owner-builder must complete "the major portion" of an amateur-built aircraft. EAA’s government affairs staff has spent the past two weeks analyzing the proposed new policy in detail. This afternoon, EAA Vice President Earl Lawrence will present a forum on those proposed policies. EAA staff members and FAA representatives will be there to answer questions and to hear comments from EAA members and others.

From its very beginning in 1953, EAA has worked hard to foster and preserve the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in sport aviation. EAA stands for "Experimental Aircraft Association" and EAA members have created countless innovations in methods, materials, and technology. Composite construction, glass cockpits, alternative fuels and powerplants, and many other innovations pioneered by EAA amateur builders have become standard practices in general, commercial, and military aviation.

EAA has always worked hard to ensure that its members will be able to keep on innovating. We work with the FAA and other agencies to ensure that government regulations and policies don’t hinder grassroots innovation. And we work hard to make advances—like the use of auto fuel in general aviation (GA) aircraft—widely available to our members and others.

Over the past year, the FAA has been contemplating changes in the way it administers and enforces the 51% Rule, and EAA has been leading the effort to preserve the freedoms embodied in the Amateur-Built regulations.

In 2007 Lawrence and EAA Member Dick Van Grunsven, president of Van’s Aircraft, co-chaired an FAA advisory panel on the 51% Rule. The panel made specific recommendations to the FAA last November. The proposed policies published two weeks ago by the FAA represent some significant victories for EAA and its members.

With the policy proposal now in its public comments phase, EAA is calling on its members and other aviation enthusiasts to submit comments to the FAA. Through your EAA membership, you have the clout and the credibility to help influence FAA policies and practices. Attend today’s forum on the 51% Rule and stop in at EAA Welcome Center here at AirVenture Oshkosh, to learn how you can comment on the FAA proposal.

No user’s fees! ... so far

Of course, the other big item on everybody’s mind this week is GA user fees. In the U.S. Senate, pressure from EAA members and other general aviation organizations has pushed user fees off the table—for now. The airline industry and the administration are still lobbying hard for GA user fees and the battle is far from over.

You’ll find lots of information about user fees at the EAA Welcome Center and in the pages of AirVenture Today. EAA staff will also provide information on other airline-backed proposals that would be detrimental to general aviation.

Most important, there are ways that you can help wage the battle against user fees. Stop in at the EAA Welcome Center and learn about user fees. Then lend a hand. It only takes a few minutes to make a difference.

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