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 TIN news:     Business aviation's contribution to the US economy is being strangled by too much government red tape and hampered by the glacial pace of reform, according to a leading US congressman.
Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the US House Transportation Committee, said at the NBAA opening ceremony this morning that overall, aviation contributes $1 trillion per year to the US economy. Of that, general aviation airports account for $1.3 billion of income.
“We can’t lose our position in aviation as we did in other industries,” says Shuster. “We invented aviation in America. We’re the leader in the world when it comes to aviation.”
He urges the government to relax the regulations covering the sector “so that we can stay in the forefront”, he says. “A safe, efficient aviation system is critical to the economy of the United States.”
The FAA reauthorization bill currently wending its way through Congress should be a “transformational bill that will create a more efficient and accessible system”, Shuster says. The previous act took three years and 23 extensions to pass, an embarrassing delay that will be unacceptable this time around, Shuster says.
However, that can only happen if the general aviation community unites to drive consistency in FAA regulations and fight other governmental burdens like taxes on carbon dioxide emissions, he says.
“It’s important that we have the entire community together, to find a spot where we can all move forward to make sure we’re streamlining the process for manufacturers so that they have some consistency out there, some certainty out there,” he says. “Consistency of the regulatory interpretation is critical.”
Congress is looking to countries like France, Canada, the UK and New Zealand for ideas on how to reform the FAA, Shuster says. While the FAA handles eight times the traffic of Canada’s air traffic management body, it spends 20 times as much to do it, he says.

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