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Sun, May 13, 2012

HAI's Gibson Presses Case Against Alexander Amendment On Capitol Hill

Has Met One-On-One With Several Members To Discuss The Issue

HAI Chairman of the Board Mark Gibson, in Washington, D.C., recently for a series of meetings with members of Congress on a variety of issues, made sure they understand the dangers of the so-called Alexander amendment. The measure, attached to the Senate version of the highway transportation bill, would give the National Park Service nearly total unilateral control over airspace above National Parks.

Gibson was in Washington to discuss the impact of the highway bill on his surface transportation business interests with members of Congress, but he took every opportunity to stress how harmful and dangerous the amendment is. The National Park Service, he told the members, has limited experience in dealing with commercial air carriers and air routes. What experience it does have resulted in a fatal mid-air collision. If the National Park Service goes through with plans to severely limit or ban overflights, Gibson told them, it will have significant negative impact on jobs and local economies where helicopter operators are based.
 
“I’m somewhat encouraged,” said Gibson. “I had a chance to speak with a number of members, including two who are on the joint committee ironing out the differences between the House and Senate versions, and several of those I spoke with recognized that an aviation amendment in a surface transportation bill is inappropriate and indicated they will oppose including it in the final bill.”

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