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"House Committee Passes Relief Bill for General Aviation Industry and Airports"

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

House Committee Passes Relief Bill for General Aviation Industry and

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this afternoon
unanimously approved H.R. 3347, the General Aviation Industry
Reparations Act of 2001.  Patterned after the stabilization bill that
provided federal assistance to air carriers after the September 11
attack, the measure would provide $2.5 billion in direct compensation
and $3 billion in loan guarantees to general aviation entities - defined
as GA airports included in the NPIAS, fixed base operators, flight
schools, GA manufacturers, and persons engaged in nonscheduled
commercial aviation enterprises - for direct losses incurred after
September 11 because of ground stop orders and for incremental losses
incurred through December 31, 2001.  The bill also makes general
aviation entities eligible for war risk insurance.  The House Aviation
Subcommittee approved similar legislation on December 13.  (See links
below for additional information) 

At today's markup, the Committee approved a manager's amendment that
reduced the loan guarantee amount from the $5 billion approved by the
Aviation Subcommittee to $3 billion.  The $3 billion in funding for the
GA loan guarantee program would be made available from unused funds
previously approved as part of the airline bailout bill, a move that
reduced the overall price tag of the package.  In addition, the
amendment approved today expands assistance to general aviation workers
who lost their jobs as a result of the September 11 attacks,
compensating laid-off employees for lost wages and healthcare costs that
would have otherwise been covered.  The amendment also requires any
general aviation entity that receives a loan guarantee under the bill to
enter into an agreement to provide healthcare coverage for six months to
all current and former employees who had coverage on September 11, 2001.

What's Next?

Although today's action is certainly positive, prospects for passage of
this legislation remain slim given its overall price tag.  The measure
must clear two additional House Committees - Financial Services and
Budget - to which it was referred before it can move to the House floor,
and the Senate has not yet expressed an interest in moving forward with
similar legislation.  We will, however, continue to keep you apprised of
any developments on this or related legislation.  Stay tuned.           

Related Information:

Today's statement of Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fl),
the bill's chief sponsor:


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