Important updates on ATMPs, the NASAO Convention, Congressional AAM Caucus, and more from the HAI Government Affairs team.

Take Action on Mount Rushmore and Badlands ATMPs
We need your help submitting public comments to the National Park Service (NPS) plans for Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park.

The NPS and FAA are seeking public comments on potential alternatives for air tour management plans (ATMPs) for Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park. Public comments will be accepted during a 30-day public scoping process from Sep. 6 through Oct. 6.

The NPS and FAA are developing ATMPs for 24 parks, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park.

HAI is concerned with the transparency of the ATMP drafting process, operational safety, and economic considerations of the plan.

  • This process is moving forward without the involvement of critical stakeholders such as the National Parks Overflights Advisory Group (NPOAG), which was established to provide advice and counsel with respect to commercial air tour operations.
  • Excluding critical stakeholders like the NPOAG in this process has resulted in plans for other parks that contain clear safety concerns.
  • The draft plans severely curtail the economic viability of the air tour industry by limiting flight allocations.

This process has shut out the voice of safety experts and excluded important economic considerations.

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

  1. View (and customize) your comments to NPS on the ATMP process for Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park.
  2. Enter your contact information.
  3. Submit your comments.

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

HAI Participates in NASAO Convention
The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) held its 91st Annual Convention & Trade Show on Sep. 10–14, in Greenville, South Carolina. HAI’s Director of Government Affairs, John Shea, attended the show.

The Convention was an excellent opportunity to interact with individual state aviation agencies, meet with other decision makers and influencers from the aviation sector, and discuss the latest issues impacting aviation across America.

State aviation agencies are addressing issues such as workforce development, advanced air mobility integration, FAA Reauthorization priorities, infrastructure, and numerous other issues important to the vertical flight industry. Shea, who serves on the NASAO Education Center Board of Directors, met with many aviation directors to discuss local state issues important to HAI members.

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.-8) (left) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.-20)

HAI Sponsors AAM Caucus Reception
This week, HAI along with other general aviation associations and companies sponsored a reception for the bipartisan Congressional Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Caucus.

Co-chairs of the Caucus, Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.-8) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.-20), provided opening comments to kick off the event. Sponsors of the event included HAI, Archer, Beta Technologies, GAMA, Joby Aviation, Lilium, NATA, NASAO, NBAA, Supernal, and Wisk Aero.

House passes the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act
This week, the House passed HR 5315, the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act. This bill establishes a $100 million drone infrastructure inspection grant program to award grants to governmental entities to facilitate the use of eligible small uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs) to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve worker and community safety, reduce carbon emissions, or meet other priorities related to critical infrastructure projects.

The bill also establishes a $100 million drone education and training grant program to award grants to educational institutions for workforce training for eligible small UAS technology.

National Aviation Preparedness Plan
On Sep. 14, the House passed Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen’s bill HR 884, National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act.  Under the plan, the Transportation Department would have to develop a national aviation preparedness plan for communicable disease outbreaks within two years of enactment of the bill.

The plan provides airports and air carriers with a framework to coordinate their individual emergency response plans with the federal government. The plan requires processes to identify appropriate personal protective equipment for frontline employees that would reduce the likelihood of exposure and clean, disinfect, and sanitize aircraft and airports.

The Transportation Department would have to consult with aviation industry and labor stakeholders, coordinate with the Health and Human Services and Homeland Security departments, and consider the latest peer-reviewed scientific studies on communicable diseases and air travel to develop the plan. The modified version includes general aviation among the entities that the Transportation Department would have to consult with to develop the plan.

Drone Deadline Pushed Back
Last week, the FAA published a notice in the Federal Register that moved the deadline for drone manufacturers to meet the FAA compliance standard for Remote ID from Sep. 16 to Dec. 16.

The American Society for Testing and Materials working group submitted compliance standards to the FAA but did not receive approval until Aug. 11, about one month before the requirement was to go into effect. In response, the FAA said manufacturers “may not have sufficient time to adequately design, develop, and test unmanned aircraft and file a declaration of compliance” within the remaining timeframe.

Authors

  • 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 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.