NPS ATM plans for Statue of Liberty and Governors Island, FAA labor shortage, US midterm election results, and more from the HAI Government Affairs team.

 

Take Action on the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island ATM Voluntary Agreement
We need your help submitting public comments to the National Park Service (NPS) plans for the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island National Monuments.

The National Park Service (NPS) and FAA are seeking public comments on a proposed commercial air tour management (ATM) voluntary agreement for the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Governors Island National Monument. Public comments are being accepted during a 30-day period that started on Oct. 21 and will end on Nov. 21.

Since advocacy groups opposed to air tours are currently submitting comments to stop this voluntary agreement, HAI strongly encourages tour operators to submit public comments. HAI has provided a template that enables the simple submission of comments.

You can submit an HAI-endorsed prewritten comment directly to NPS in three simple steps:

  1. View (and customize) your comments to the NPS on the voluntary agreement here.
  2. Enter your contact information.
  3. Submit.

Thank you for engaging in this important advocacy effort, and please encourage others to submit comments as well.

FAA Faces Labor Shortage and Other Challenges
The FAA is facing challenges addressing unresolved safety issues and staffing shortages for air traffic controllers—issues that resurfaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As travel begins to return to pre-pandemic levels, airlines are struggling to keep up. Flight cancelations are increasing, and passenger complaints have risen significantly. But airlines are not the only ones struggling. The FAA is also experiencing staffing shortages, and a lack of air traffic controllers is causing further flight delays. Addressing this staffing issue as well as proper training of air traffic controllers are essential for functional and efficient air traffic operations.

The FAA is also challenged by outdated processes that impede the introduction of new transportation technology, such as drones and flying taxis, into the market. There is a growing interest in vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and advanced air mobility (AAM), but these innovative technologies do not fit into the agency’s current regulatory framework.

Aviation management issues have been brought up consistently and are among the top priorities for the 2023 reauthorization bill, along with aircraft certification processes and approvals. Lawmakers are set to debate aviation issues before the current authorization bill expires. Another pressing issue the FAA faces is the absence of a permanent leader. The future of aviation truly requires strong leadership from the agency.

US 2022 Midterm Elections
The US midterm election occurred last week. As HAI waits for final election results to roll in, here is what our readers should know. This year’s midterm election results could impact the President’s agenda as well as the direction of the nation. Democrats, who presently control the House, could lose their majority to the Republican party. The House currently has 220 Democrats and 212 Republicans, and all 435 seats are up for re-election. In comparison, only 35 out of 100 Senate seats were up for election, with Democrats retaining control over the senate after winning the Nevada seat over the weekend.  Just as important, are the 36 gubernatorial elections. Determining which party will have working majorities in gubernatorial offices and state legislatures is increasingly important in today’s economic and social environment. With the US economy struggling and voters concerned with a variety of issues, the results will reflect how voters feel about the current direction of our country.

Once the results have been finalized, HAI’s Government Affairs team will provide insights on what policy priorities at the federal and state levels will look like for next year and how these policies might impact our industry.

Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee to Hold Public Hearing
The FAA’s Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) will host a public virtual meeting on Nov. 18, 2022, from 10 am to 12 pm eastern. The meeting is being held to discuss the FAA’s uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) integration research plan and the agency’s research and development strategies, initiatives, and planning. As stated on REDAC’s website, individuals interested in speaking during the session must submit a written copy of their remarks to the Department of Transportation by Nov. 10. Forty-five minutes will be allocated for oral comments from members of the public.

HAI’s Government Affairs team will attend the public meeting virtually to ensure that the strategic plans presented will help push the UAS-AAM industry forward. See REDAC’s detailed meeting agenda here.

Authors

  • Cade Clark

    HAI’s VP of government affairs, Cade Clark has directed association advocacy programs for over 20 years. Growing up, he worked at an FBO where Cade learned to fly, washed planes, got in the mechanics’ way, idolized the old-timers and their stories, and deepened his love for all things general aviation.

  • John Shea

    John Shea joined HAI as director of government affairs in 2019. He came to HAI from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), where he was interim president in 2018 and lead government affairs representative since 2017. Previously, as a legislative staffer, John advised multiple members of Congress on transportation policy.

  • Katia Veraza

    Katia Veraza is HAI’s manager of government affairs and regional relations. Prior to joining the association, Katia was a managing consultant for government affairs. She earned her master’s degree in political science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Cade Clark

Cade Clark

HAI’s VP of government affairs, Cade Clark has directed association advocacy programs for over 20 years. Growing up, he worked at an FBO where Cade learned to fly, washed planes, got in the mechanics’ way, idolized the old-timers and their stories, and deepened his love for all things general aviation.