Chairman Graves Leads General Aviation Townhall at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) on Saturday led a General Aviation (GA) town hall discussion with executives from various GA organizations at the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, WI.
Joining Chairman Graves for the GA townhall were Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce, Helicopter Association International (HAI) President and CEO James Viola, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon.
The GA townhall comes on the heels of the U.S. House of Representatives’ July 20th passage of H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation (SGRLAA) Act, legislation sponsored by T&I Chairman Graves, along with T&I Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA), and Aviation Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN).
The SGRLAA Act, a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation safety and infrastructure programs, was overwhelmingly approved by the House by a vote of 351 to 69. Chairman Graves, who is an avid aviator and professional pilot with an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate, worked to ensure that the SGRLAA Act included the first-ever title in an FAA bill dedicated specifically to GA.
“It was absolutely vital to me to include the first GA title in this FAA bill, because the success of our aviation system is built upon a strong GA foundation,” Graves said. “If GA in the U.S. isn’t successful, then aviation in the U.S. will not be successful. And there’s no better place than at Oshkosh, where so many from the GA community and the aviation industry gather, to hear about these issues and discuss how we can keep GA strong. I appreciate EAA and Jack Pelton for hosting this legislative forum to talk about GA issues and the bill now moving through Congress. And I look forward to working with the Senate to see a final measure signed into law before the September 30th expiration of current FAA law.”
“The future success of the general aviation community depends on stability for the FAA, so it can work with our community to plan in an orderly fashion,” said EAA Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton. “That’s why a completed reauthorization that includes GA is so important. We welcome Chairman Graves and the GA leadership group to Oshkosh, where they can talk directly with those aviators who are directly affected the most by the actions of the FAA and the federal government.”
“It’s an honor to have an opportunity at AirVenture to gather with Chairman Graves and the general aviation community to mark passage in the House of Representatives of a landmark, bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill, and discuss the meaningful impact the legislation will have for all aviation segments, including GA,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We thank the Chairman and the other House leaders for understanding the importance of a reauthorization bill in ensuring that the U.S. remains the gold standard in aviation.”
“Chairman Graves is a champion of general aviation, and we are grateful for his tremendous leadership during passage of the FAA reauthorization bill through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the full House,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “The industry is particularly appreciative of his willingness to keep general aviation as a key focus as Congress continues its work to enhance the FAA’s ability to deliver critical activities that promote safety, infrastructure, innovation and competitiveness.”
“The future of the general aviation industry looks incredibly promising following the recent passage of the House FAA reauthorization bill. HAI enthusiastically supported and endorsed this crucial legislation, and it was a true honor to engage in meaningful discussions with Chairman Graves and other general aviation leaders at AirVenture in Oshkosh this weekend,” said HAI President and CEO James Viola. “Thanks to Chairman Graves and other House leaders, the House FAA bill will significantly address the pilot shortage, streamline regulatory processes, facilitate UAS beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, and, most importantly, implement numerous safety and training enhancements — all of which align perfectly with HAI's top priorities.”
“Today’s forum was a great opportunity to highlight the work done in the House FAA bill by Chairman Graves and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill is comprehensive and addresses important issues for today’s pilots and for future aviators across the country,” said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon. “One of the key takeaways from today was just how important it is for the GA community to continue to be active in pushing Congress to ensure an FAA bill gets signed into law as soon as possible.”