WASHINGTON, DC, April 9, 2003 – Testifying today before the House Subcommittee on Aviation, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) called on Congress to defend the integrity of the nation’s air transportation system against special interests seeking airspace restrictions.
"Our national air transportation system is far too important to the United States to allow powerful private enterprises to use their political clout to create an unjustified, ad hoc patchwork of airspace restrictions," said GAMA President Ed Bolen. "It is time for the federal government to be accountable for developing and implementing a security process that objectively assesses threats, mitigates risk, minimizes economic impact and maintains the margin of aviation safety."
Bolen’s comments came shortly after the Mayor of Chicago lobbied the federal government for airspace restrictions around downtown Chicago, then used the restrictions as justification for closing a downtown airport he has long sought to convert to a park.
Bolen also expressed frustration with the Department of Justice for not developing a workable process for conducting background checks on aliens seeking flight training. He urged Congress to transfer the background check responsibility from the Department of Justice to the Transportation Security Administration.
In closing, Bolen asked Congress to adopt the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Commission related to the certification of aviation products.