HAI applauds bill to keep FAA open during government closures

Helicopter Association International (HAI) applauds Rep. Peter DeFazio (D, Ore.-4th) for introducing the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019, intended to protect the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from future government shutdowns.

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This bill, introduced on Feb. 8 by DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, would allow the FAA to use aviation trust funds to remain open, even if politicians close the rest of the government.

“Words cannot express our relief that no significant aviation-related accident or event occurred during the recent partial government shutdown,” said Matt Zuccaro, president and CEO of HAI. “However, while the system remained safe, the inability to obtain needed permits and authorizations from the FAA caused financial harm to the helicopter industry and its operators. Vital preparations for the upcoming fire season were also delayed as the FAA could not issue needed certifications.

“Helicopters fly missions that provide benefit to the public good. When our ability to function is hampered, the negative impacts cascade down to affect the general public,” said Zuccaro.

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Zuccaro also thanks Chairman DeFazio for his leadership in sponsoring a bill that protects the FAA and allows the agency to perform its work on behalf of all Americans.

“The FAA provides vital services to the aviation industry and the nation. Most importantly, they make the skies safer for all who use our national airspace. We are grateful to Rep. DeFazio for recognizing the safety issue caused by not providing the FAA with stable funding and working to address it quickly.”

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