PPA status?

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jjfjr
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PPA status?

Postby jjfjr » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:54 am

Hi;

It's been quite some time since both houses of Congress introduced their pilot protection act bills. Has anyone heard anything? Did it die in committee?

jjfjr

SportPilot
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Re: PPA status?

Postby SportPilot » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:59 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Jack Tyler » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:37 am

GAPPA was assigned to the Aviation Subcommittee (AS) of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in the House. A companion (same language) bill was introduced in the Senate. The Chairman and Ranking Member of the AS have not taken a public position on the bill, and 19 or 20 of the AS committee members are co-sponsors of the bill. It is unlikely to be heard in the session and, given the co-sponsorship, may or may not be reintroduced in the next Session (post election) of the House, depending on the FAA NPRM language and the reaction to that language by the various GA interest groups (EAA, AOPA, etc.)
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

SportPilot
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Re: PPA status?

Postby SportPilot » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:58 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Merlinspop
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Merlinspop » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:00 am

SportPilot wrote:I don't hold out any hope the proposed bills in Congress will ever see the light of day. However, I think some version of the AOPA/EAA proposal will be implemented in the not too distant future.

I agree. I do give the two bills credit for giving the AOPA/EAA proposal a nudge within the FAA though.
- Bruce

SportPilot
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Re: PPA status?

Postby SportPilot » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:14 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: PPA status?

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:57 am

"I do give the two bills credit for giving the AOPA/EAA proposal a nudge within the FAA though."

Exactly. That was the underlining purpose of GAPPA. The FAA could let its regulatory authority be undermined by a bunch of legislators, or it could wake up and smell the coffee. If Congress - and especially 'the People's House' - is supposed to reflect the will of the people, and if the administrative bodies in the Executive Branch are there to administer that will, then it would seem in this case that things are ultimately working as intended, even if some blackmail is involved.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Merlinspop
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Merlinspop » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:38 am

Jack Tyler wrote:.... then it would seem in this case that things are ultimately working as intended, even if some blackmail is involved.

More like "extortion" because "blackmail" would have gotten much faster, better results. :lol:
- Bruce

Jack Tyler
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Jack Tyler » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:10 am

Maybe some of you who haven't bothered to contact your House Representative yet re: supporting GAPPA will find this short story of interest. My Congresswoman, Corrine Brown, is a member of the House GA Caucus. And that's no surprise, as she represents the largest portion of Jacksonville FL where we have 2 Naval Air Stations, 4 public airports and a vibrant and growing commercial aviation industry. (E.g. the new Super Tucano is being built at Jax International while yet another huge hangar for aviation refurb businesses is being built at Cecil Field, a former Master Jet Base for the Navy). But Ms. Brown has not co-sponsored GAPPA. I didn't expect to speak directly with Rep. Brown so I asked her office which aide advised her on transportation matters. I left a phone message with him (no response; no surprise) but followed it up with an email outlining some of my reasons for encouraging Brown to co-sponsor the bill. I got a reply that provided insights into a) how poor their GA knowledge was, and b) a series of 'inside baseball' politics that made it sound like GAPPA was going nowhere. Here are two examples:

Aide's statement: The Aviation Subcommittee Chair and Co-Chair both did not support the bill so it has little promise. (The inference was that Ms. Brown couldn't be bothered to take a position on its own merits, just on the politics).
The facts: Chairs/Co-Chairs as a rule do not take a position before hearing testimony for the obvious reason that they would then seem to have prejudged the testimony and also possibly set themselves up for later embarrassment. But more importantly, 20 of that Subcommittee's members - a clear majority - were already GAPPA co-sponsors! So the message being sent was that the bill is hopeless, based on innuendo and an absence of relevant detail (which the aide probably didn't even know).

Aide's statement: The Congresswoman would like the FAA to set medical exam requirements, not state driver's license bureaus.
The facts: As written, the statement made clear that Rep. Brown's aide didn't know that the FAA had already taken that very step (with the SPL) nor that the FAA permitted flight in the absence of any medical requirement beyond self-certification (glider rating). The statement was firmly written, as if from on high, but was bereft of factual knowledge.

The good news is that almost every sentence in the aide's email provided an opportunity for me to clarify what GAPPA is, how the FAA regulates GA, and how an average citizen can learn enough about congressional politics to make it clear to the aide that he was caught shading the truth...but hopefully putting it in a neutral, non-accusatory way so we didn't get egos involved. Did this change Brown's choice (so far) to not co-sponsor GAPPA. Nope, it didn't. I have to wonder, however, what would happen if 10 or 20 more folks communicated the same messages to the aide. Regardless, it left me in a better position to communicate my views to this aide in the future, since he has learned not to BS his next reply.

FYI the time and effort it probably took me to make that call and write two emails was about 1/10th the time I've spent commenting on GAPPA at virtual villages like this one. It wasn't that big a deal...
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Nomore767
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:43 am

Jack,

My experience with local politicians has been the same. I still sent my letter in to urge them to support a change in the rule.

My thought is that when the NPRM finally comes out, I feel that the FAA might require all current 3rd Class medical holders to take their next medical as a baseline (perhaps a bit more stringent than normal 3rd Class parameters). Successfully passing this would then allow the pilot the option of taking a medical every 2 years or continuing on with a DL. Point being, they get a good look at each pilot before allowing them to continue in the future flying a broader range of airplanes on a DL.
Having the option of not taking the medical in the future meets the AOPA/EAA point about cost. It also meets the FAA's lean towards keeping medicals. Pilots who have ,and would like to continue with, Special Issuances would still take a medical as before. Pilots who want to continue on a DL would have to 'qualify' for that by taking the baseline medical.

Just my 2 cents from talking with local political reps.

BrianL99
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Re: PPA status?

Postby BrianL99 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:53 pm

In my opinion, there are only two ways that 3rd Class Medical requirements will be modified:

The FAA does it by Regulation.

Congress passes a bill that has the 3rd Class Medical reform, tacked onto it as a rider. On its own the bill isn't going anywhere, nor should it in my opinion.

The issue simply isn't important enough to get major attention from the average congressman ... no one really cares about it.

Jack Tyler
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:03 pm

Howard, your best guess (re: the NPRM on medicals) isn't similar to mine and I can find reasons why the FAA wouldn't choose the route you describe...BUT your best guess illustrates just how varied their approach could be from the original EAA/AOPA proposal. They could come at it from a variety of angles.

What I would like to know is why we GA pilots aren't provided the same leaky benefits that the UAS community recently enjoyed. No sooner than the FAA stated they were readying a NPRM draft that integrates UAS a/c into the NAS than many commercial interests began complaining loudly about a requirement UAS a/c must be flown by a licensed pilot. Boy, that was fast!! The 3rd class medical NPRM has been discussed within the FAA for roughly a year, DOT has now reviewed it for months, and we have yet to get one juicy rumor of a leak. We just don't get no respect!

Brian, I think the odds are probably in favor of GAPPA following the omnibus route you mention. That's very common for small potatoes legislation...and sometimes massive pieces of legislation, too. You could even argue, if we accept your notion 'no one cares about GAPPA', that the omnibus route is the 'automatic' or default option since it would raise no objections within either chamber or the conference committee. But it matters not a wit. Every piece of an omnibus bill is equally eligible to become law should it complete the congressional voting and executive signing process.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

BrianL99
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Re: PPA status?

Postby BrianL99 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:19 pm

Jack Tyler wrote:
Brian, I think the odds are probably in favor of GAPPA following the omnibus route you mention. That's very common for small potatoes legislation...and sometimes massive pieces of legislation, too. You could even argue, if we accept your notion 'no one cares about GAPPA', that the omnibus route is the 'automatic' or default option since it would raise no objections within either chamber or the conference committee. But it matters not a wit. Every piece of an omnibus bill is equally eligible to become law should it complete the congressional voting and executive signing process.


It sounds like you have legislative experience, Jack?

As you know, in order to get it tacked onto something, someone likely has to use up a favor. AOPA has spent some money in Congress through the years, but I'm not sure quite enough to garner that sort of favor from someone on the right committee, at the right time.

I think the most practical approach is regulatory, but I fail to see sufficient benefit to the FAA. Trying to take regulatory control away from an agency that already has it, is a tough road.

Then again, I fail to see how it helps anyone other than folks who possibly shouldn't be flying an airplane :)

Jack Tyler
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Re: PPA status?

Postby Jack Tyler » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:15 am

"I think the most practical approach is regulatory.... Trying to take regulatory control away from an agency that already has it, is a tough road."

I agree on both counts, Brian. OTOH administrative detail is encapsulated within congressional bills that become law all the time. A sausage factory makes sausage, and not necessarily sirloin tips. Congress does what it deems is necessary to do and federal agencies are not (usually) immune from the result. I think we all watched the Pilot's Bill of Rights become law, despite its benefit not reaching beyond a very small population. So GAPPA doesn't appear to me to be toiling fresh soil but rather business as usual. As would an omnibus path be in its future.

"Then again, I fail to see how it helps anyone other than folks who possibly shouldn't be flying an airplane."

Well, that depends on one's opinion of the Class 3 medical as it relates to aviation safety, doesn't it. And of course there's a lot of critical comment about the relevance of that relationship...with the truth likely being somewhere in the middle.

I think there's reasonable evidence to suggest that - originally - the principal purpose of GAPPA was to prod the FAA to follow through on the EAA/AOPA proposal. Subsequently, my impression is that it's taken on a bit of its own identity - as e.g. when it generated Q's to Acting Chairman Hart (NTSB) about the Bill when he was testifying on other subjects. (This is when he expressed misgivings about GAPPA but explained the NTSB had taken no position on it because they had no data to support opposing it). So GAPPA is obviously generating some amount of Congressional dialogue tho' its significance remains unknown, at least to me.

To the extent the FAA's Class 3 medical NPRM responds to the EAA/AOPA proposal, I think it will be interesting to see how much steam remains behind GAPPA since the Bill reaches well beyond the proposal. I happened to meet Rep. Sam Graves (the GA Caucus' Republican Co-Chair in the House), really just in passing, at the recent NBAA convention in Orlando and he clearly is experiencing much support for this from the broader aviation community, even where most flying is done with equipment far beyond GAPPA's potential reach.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org


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