posted on February 27, 2013 16:49
Alexandria, Va. - HAI President Matt Zuccaro traveled to Capitol Hill earlier this week - before heading to Las Vegas for HELI-EXPO - to share the helicopter industry's legislative priorities and concerns for the 113th Congress with the new House Transportation Leader, Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.).
U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman LoBiondo listened intently for over an hour as Zuccaro and other general aviation leaders in Washington explained the value and importance of general aviation to the U.S. economy, the importance of continued funding to support NextGen, the need for a strong manufacturing base, as well as the industry's concerns over repeated calls from the Obama Administration for the implementation of aviation user fees and changes to the tax code with respect to corporate aircraft.
U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (left) with Matt Zuccaro
Among the helicopter-specific concerns Zuccaro raised with LoBiondo and the House Aviation Subcommittee staff was legislation proposed by the California congressional delegation that would compel the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement helicopter resitrictions predicated solely on noise complaints in the Los Angeles basin on the heels of politically induced helicopter restrictions and routes in New York over Long Island.
Zuccaro carefully explained the need for sound studies and common sense application with extreme attention to safety concerns when considering route changes and altitude restrictions in metropolitan areas. Chairman LoBiondo indicated to industry leaders his strong willingness to work with industry to develop a strong dialog focused not only on safety, but to address economic concerns, and the chairman clearly recognized the importance of general
Zuccaro explained to LoBiondo the importance and need of funding in development of critical infrastructure to support off-airport helicopter operations in support of emergency air ambulance and commercial air tour operations - in particular, weather-reporting equipment as part of NextGen.