GAMA Testifies Before Congress on the Impact of the Partial U.S. Government Shutdown
Washington, DC –– General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce today testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee about the impacts of the 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) functions and operations, as well as on the general aviation manufacturing and maintenance industry.
“GAMA recognizes that these impacts go far beyond our critical part of the aviation industry,” Bunce said. “We appreciate and respect the work of all federal employees, especially those working to promote the safety, security and economic health of the aviation system, and realize how difficult this recent period has been for the federal workforce and those who contract and partner with the federal government.”
Bunce also recognized the work of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in enacting a five-year FAA Reauthorization bill into law last year, which included certification reforms that are critical to the industry’s advancement. He also applauded the leadership of Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Larsen and stated GAMA’s vigorous support for the Aviation Funding and Stability Act of 2019.
“If enacted, H.R. 1108 would provide targeted stability for the aviation system to function, including air traffic and critical elements of aviation safety – which includes certification, maintenance, and training – while ensuring congressional oversight,” said Bunce. “We look forward to working with members of this committee, and other stakeholders who share jurisdiction, in a bipartisan way to advance the Aviation Funding and Stability Act of 2019 in the near-term and mitigate the consequences of any future government shutdown on the FAA.”
In his testimony, Bunce covered in detail the shutdown’s impact on aircraft certification, validation and global leadership, operating authorizations, repair stations and recurrent certification and training. He also discussed what the recovery process and timeline look like for GAMA member companies.
“We received weekly assessments of shutdown impacts and ascertained that for each week the shutdown continued, there would be a three-to-four-week impact on aircraft and product certification programs,” Bunce said. “The extended length of residual shutdown impact is due to the backlog of tasks that only FAA can perform. While FAA certification offices are working to address this backlog, the day-to-day pace of manufacturing and maintenance activities accompanied by the start of new projects that FAA must also support compounds and complicates the recovery effort.”
Bunce closed his testimony by expressing concerns that the shutdown significantly set back timelines of fully implementing the FAA Reauthorization and stressing that the success of aviation is highly dependent on advancing and modernizing the regulatory structure and air traffic control system.
“Manufacturers large and small are developing incredible new technologies to more efficiently handle current traffic and safely integrate rapidly emerging entrants such as unmanned systems, electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, civil supersonic aircraft, and commercial space vehicles,” said Bunce. “I look forward to working with this Subcommittee and the broader membership of this Committee and Congress to prevent future shutdowns but also find ways to realize the promise of these important reforms to benefit aviation in the present and in the existing years ahead.”
Read Bunce’s full testimony.
For additional information, please contact Sarah McCann, GAMA Director of Communications, at +1 (202) 637-1375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAMA is an international trade association representing over 100 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation airplanes and rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services. GAMA's members also operate repair stations, fixed based operations, pilot and maintenance training facilities and manage fleets of aircraft. For more information, visit GAMA's website at www.GAMA.aero.