The FAA has finally
agreed to hold public meetings to hear directly from pilots who
will be hurt by a proposed charity/sightseeing rule and will extend
the formal comment period on the rule. The agency granted AOPA's
petition five months after it was filed on November 12, 2003.
The meetings will be held in Washington, D.C., on May 11 and in
Las Vegas, Nev., on May 21.
"This is an important step for the general aviation community,"
said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It allows us to respond to the
threat the proposed rule poses to hundreds of small
More than a dozen members of Congress and numerous other
aviation organizations had also written to FAA Administrator Marion
Blakey, urging the agency to hold public meetings. The House
aviation subcommittee was looking into the matter, and the chairman
of a House small business subcommittee had announced his intentions
to hold a hearing on the rule.
The Washington meeting will be held in the shadow of the
Capitol, at the Holiday Inn on the Hill, 415 New Jersey Avenue
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. AOPA is already scheduled to testify
at this meeting.
The Las Vegas meeting will be held in the commission chamber at
the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway,
Las Vegas, Nevada 89155.
The new deadline for filing formal comments is June 18. Anyone
wishing to add to the official comments may do so online through
Monday by clicking on "Comments/Submissions" and entering docket