House of Representatives votes to ban aviation user charges and nav chart fees

21 June 2014 / by the GAA team / Consultation, Costs, Governance, Overview

Are you sitting down? Good. We don’t want you fainting from shock. The bad news is that it’s not our House of Representatives, but the one in the United States, which leads the world in aviation. (Our House of Representatives merely rubber-stamps legislation to increase GA costs and damage the sector.)

The US House of Representatives has voted to provide $15.7 billion to the FAA in fiscal year 2015. The Republican-dominated House opposes Obama-inspired proposals to impose a $100 charge on certain GA flights, as well as FAA budget cuts. The bill would prohibit aviation user fees and fees for navigational charts.

The legislation instructs the FAA to use funding to support the Small Airplane Revitalisation Act, which would streamline certification of small aircraft.

Other items in the bill include:

♦ $252.2 million for ADS–B NAS Wide Implementation, up from $247.2 in the FAA’s budget request

♦ $103.6 million for the GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)

♦ $6 million to support development of lead-free aviation gasoline, an increase from the $5.7 million in the President’s request

Britain’s CAA launches consultation on future GA policy

The UK CAA has launched a consultation on its future policy for General Aviation regulation. It builds on the recent GA Red Tape Challenge and the formation of the CAA’s first dedicated GA unit and it will define how the CAA regulates GA on a day-to-day basis.

The proposed policy seeks to establish a new way to regulate GA that recognises the need to protect third parties, such as the general public, but also make regulation more proportionate and assist in the Government’s aim of making the UK GA sector “innovative and vibrant”.

The policy will provide clearly defined and transparent guidance as to how the CAA will make decisions on GA regulation. At its heart is the desire to support new top-level principles for GA regulation:

♦ Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately

♦ Deregulate where possible

♦ Delegate where appropriate

♦ Do not “gold-plate”, and quickly and efficiently remove existing gold-plating

♦ Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK

The consultation also seeks views on how members of the public might find it easier to take part in GA activities (such as flying in historic aircraft) while allowing the operator of the aircraft to make a profit. This is currently possible but requires the operator to obtain and maintain a full commercial Air Operators Certificate approval from the CAA. The new policy provides a simpler route, by telling passengers of the level of regulation and risk before they decide to fly.

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the CAA, said: “We know that our regulation of GA in the past has sometimes been disproportionate. We have fully engaged with the Red Tape Challenge and are working hard to change the way we deal with the GA community.

“To enable colleagues in the CAA and the GA community to consistently deliver appropriate regulations and decisions that ensure third parties and non-GA participants are protected in line with the CAA’s statutory duties, are based on evidence and deliver our new vision for GA, we are putting in place a simple and transparent policy process – and that’s what the consultation is about.”