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FAA Caves -- Public Meetings To Be Held On Charity/Sightseeing Rule

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 businesses."

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 number FAA-1998-4521.

FMI: http://dms.dot.gov/, www.faa.gov

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