From left: Cade Clark; John Shea; Melissa Tomkiel, president and general counsel of BLADE; and Jeff Smith at BLADE’s offices in New York City.

HAI Visits with Members in New York and New Jersey
Last week, Cade Clark and John Shea of the HAI Government Affairs team, along with HAI Chair Jeff Smith, traveled to New York City for meetings on New York State Senate bill S7493A, colloquially known as the “Stop the Chop Act.”

While there, Jeff, Cade, and John met with operators to learn about issues affecting their business and visited the local heliports to view and learn about their operations. Additionally, HAI visited BLADE Urban Air Mobility’s offices and went to the Kearny, New Jersey, heliport to visit with local operators.

EPA Proposes Endangerment Finding for Lead Emissions from Piston Aircraft
Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new endangerment finding that leaded fuel for aircraft may “reasonably be anticipated” to threaten public health.

EPA noted that its plan should be finalized in 2023 and then would go through a public comment period to set lead emissions standards. Once that process is complete, the agency may then propose regulations that require the FAA to set standards to comply with the EPA’s emission limits.

The general aviation (GA) industry and the FAA have a shared goal to rid lead from all aviation fuel used for piston-powered aircraft no later than 2030. The FAA and industry have come together under the EAGLE (Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions) initiative to see this mission realized.

The GA industry has been preparing for the proposed EPA finding, which involved a multistep regulatory process, and has aligned the goals of EAGLE to meet the challenges of transitioning to an unleaded future without compromising the economic and broader public benefits of general aviation.

HAI Joins Coalition in Sending Letter to Congress on R&D
HAI joined a large coalition of businesses and trade associations, collectively employing millions of Americans, in sending a letter to the US Congress on Oct. 11 urging immediate action to reverse a harmful tax change that threatens jobs and innovation in the United States.

For nearly 70 years, the tax code has recognized the importance of research and development by allowing businesses to fully deduct their R&D expenses in the same year. However, beginning this year,
businesses must amortize or deduct these expenses over a period of years, making research and development more costly to conduct in the country.

The letter notes that failing to reverse this change would cost well-paying jobs and reduce future innovation-directed R&D. Requiring the amortization of research expenses will reduce R&D spending and lead to a loss of more than 20,000 R&D jobs in the first five years, with that number rising to nearly 60,000 over the subsequent five years. When accounting for the spillover effect from R&D spending, nearly three times as many jobs will be affected. The letter references a study that found that for every $1 billion in R&D spending, 17,000 jobs are supported in the United States.

The letter concludes by asking Congress to act without delay to ensure that the tax code continues to support innovation, as doing so will help secure the country’s global leadership in innovation as well as its economic and national security future.

You can read the letter in HAI’s Advocacy Library.

Honeywell Unveils Ethanol-to-Jet-Fuel Process to Tap SAF Demand
Honeywell says its new ethanol-to-jet-fuel processing technology will enable producers to convert corn-based, cellulosic, or sugar-based ethanol into climate-friendly aviation fuel.

The business aviation community has long been committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aircraft. The industry has continually promoted investment in, and development of, innovative products, procedures, and policies aimed at reducing its environmental footprint. The industry is pursuing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to:

• Reduce net life-cycle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from aviation operations
• Enhance the sustainability of aviation with a fuel source superior to conventional jet fuel in economic, social, and environmental aspects
• Enable drop-in jet fuel production from unconventional sources (multiple feedstocks and conversion processes) so that no changes are required in aircraft or engine fuel systems, distribution infrastructure, or storage facilities.

Combating Human Trafficking in Aviation Summit with Blue Lightning Initiative
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and the US government’s Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) will be hosting the Combating Human Trafficking in Aviation Summit on Jan. 26, 2023, at Hitchcock Hall in Washington, D.C., from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm eastern (UTC-5). Featured speakers and panelists will include representatives from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), aviation industry partners, and a lived-experience expert. Presentations and panels will involve:

• An overview of what human trafficking is, BLI efforts to combat the crime, and training/resources available to the industry
• A keynote lived-experience expert speaker who will highlight the importance of the aviation industry in the fight against human trafficking, human trafficking indicators, and vulnerabilities that prevent victims from leaving human trafficking situations
• Department of Homeland Security (DHS) case studies with a nexus to aviation
• Panels highlighting best practices to combat the crime in commercial and general aviation
• Data on human trafficking and the crisis in Ukraine.

Register here to join us on Jan. 26, and please share this event announcement with other aviation professionals in your organization and community. Note: this event is in-person only and registration is required.

In 2021, HAI signed a memorandum of understanding to work with the DHS on the BLI to combat human trafficking in aviation.


  • 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.

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.