Congress further funds GA sector



The US Congress recently passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus, which featured critical funding for various general aviation (GA) services sectors, including safety, certification and alternative fuels.

A total of $1.29 billion of the entire bill is directed at aviation safety activities, of which a firm $1.5 million go to the creation of six full-time equivalent positions to support the certification of new technologies. According to a General Aviation Manufactures Association (GAMA) statement, the measure also directs the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with the industry to facilitate, improve and optimize the process of product certification, including appealing more on organization designation authorizations (ODA), something for which GAMA has strongly advocated.

The FAA is also encouraged to fortify international aviation safety cooperations and improve the flow of aviation products globally through strategic engagement with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada (TC), and the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC).

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“These efforts should leverage the respective safety competencies of bilateral safety partners to streamline validations of products and reduce burdensome and duplicative work by regulatory specialists,” the GAMA statement reads.

An additional $7 million – $1.2 million higher than requested – is being allocated for NextGen and alternative GA fuels, enabling industry OEMs to perform increased aircraft and engine testing aimed at transitioning piston aircraft to the use of unleaded fuel.

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Furthermore, more concern was raised regarding the removal of US air traffic control from the hands of the FAA. The removal, the bill reads, could lead to uncontrollable cost increases to consumers, and could ultimately harm users of and operators in the system, including the flying public, the aviation community, FAA’s workforce, and the small towns in rural America that rely on access to the national air space.

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