Faced with the possibility of a new closure by the government at the end of the week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee scheduled a hearing this Wednesday to see how the recent 35-day closure not only damaged the FAA functions, but also the larger aviation industry.
Among those who will testify at the hearing, "To jeopardize US aviation safety: the impact of the shutdown," is President Paul Rinaldi of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), who emphasizes the erosion of safety layers and describes the stress during put the shutdown on the staff, said NATCA.
The hearing follows the introduction of a bill last week, H.R.1108, that would protect FAA programs and employees against a future shutdown. Introduced by T & I chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and board chairman of the aviation commission Rick Larsen (D-Washington), this bill could ensure that money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund continues to flow to FAA program & # 39 ; s and wages during shutdowns.
The bill received strong support from a cross-section of the industry, including NATCA and a number of business and general aviation organizations. "Aviation is one of the most regulated industries in the nation, requiring surveillance and a large number of FAA services," said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. By noting that the bill would prevent a potentially harmful interruption in the case of another shutdown.
"This is a healthy piece of legislation that ensures that all critical components of our National Airspace System remain fully operational, without interruptions, in a safe and secure way, regardless of the political environment," said Shelly Simi, president and CEO of the National Association. of State Aviation Officials. "As demonstrated by the recent closure, aviation has a broad reaching effect on serving the needs of our citizens and communities across the country and has a direct impact on the economy."
"The words can not help us that there was no significant aviation-related accident or event during the recent partial halt to the government," added the chairman of the Helicopter Association International and CEO Matt Zuccaro, and praised the introduction of the bill. "Although the system remained safe, the inability to obtain the necessary permits and authorizations from the FAA caused financial damage to the helicopter industry and its operators." Zuccaro pointed out the delays in critical preparations for the coming burning season, as well as the issuing of necessary certifications.