In Their Words: Praise for Inhofe's Work on FAA Reauthorization

Aviation leaders from Oklahoma and across the country praised Sen. Inhofe’s work on the FAA reauthorization that passed the Senate today. Click here for a comment from Sen. Inhofe and a summary of the provisions he secured in the legislation.

“Thanks to Senator Inhofe’s leadership, the FAA bill is a landmark piece of aviation workforce legislation,” said Christian Klein, executive vice president of the Aeronautical Repair Station. “By leading the effort to create a new maintenance workforce development grant program, Senator Inhofe has helped address a technician shortage that’s recognized as the biggest strategic challenge to the U.S. aviation maintenance industry. Over the next several years, thousands of workers in Oklahoma and elsewhere throughout the country will develop skills through Senator Inhofe’s grant program that will allow them to pursue careers in the growing, global, high-tech aviation sector. Those workers will, in turn, contribute to the economic life of their communities, help their companies compete on the international stage and build on the U.S. civil aviation sector’s already outstanding safety record. ARSA and its members thank Senator Inhofe for making workforce a priority and look forward to working with him to ensure the new program fully achieves its goals.”

“We commend Senator Inhofe for his active leadership on the FAA reauthorization bill, which will provide important benefits to general aviation airports in Oklahoma and across the country,” said U.S. Contract Tower Association policy board members Lance Lamkin, airport administrator at the University of Oklahoma Max Westheimer Airport, and Paul Priegel, airport director at the Stillwater Regional Airport. “In particular, we are grateful for Senator Inhofe’s tireless efforts working with his colleagues on the Senate Commerce Committee to include critical reforms to the FAA contract tower program that will bring much needed and long overdue stability to the program along with provisions that will give resource flexibility for general aviation airports to modernize their facilities.”

“Oklahoma has more people per capita employed in aviation maintenance than any other state,” said Meredith Siegfried Madden, CEO of NORDAM. “Sen. Inhofe’s new technician-training program will help even more Oklahomans pursue aviation careers and keep our state on the leading edge of the aerospace industry. NORDAM sincerely appreciates Sen. Inhofe leading the charge, making the aviation workforce a top priority in this FAA bill, and fighting for Oklahoma aerospace jobs at every opportunity.”

“The whole team at AAR CORP is proud of the bipartisan effort of Senator Inhofe that supports a workforce development for training Aircraft Maintenance Technicians in the recent FAA Authorization bill,” said John Holmes, president and CEO, AAR CORP. It is this kind of thought leadership and bias for action that will make a difference to meet the growing need for skilled technicians in the aerospace industry.”

“American Airlines hails the passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill, which includes Senator Inhofe’s provision that will create an education program that is essential to developing well-trained and knowledgeable aviation maintenance professionals,” said David Seymour, senior vice president of Integrated Operations at American Airlines. “Without a sufficient pipeline of these highly skilled men and women, we cannot sustain the vital work that is essential to our industry. We value Senator Inhofe’s leadership and thank him for all his efforts on behalf of the aviation industry.” 

“The National Business Aviation Association thanks Senator Inhofe, who is among the Senate's strongest general aviation advocates, for making this legislation a priority,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. “This long-term bill will provide a stable path forward for the FAA, without controversial proposals to privatize our nation's air traffic control system. Equally important, this bill reflects a number of priorities for the general aviation community – including the pilot protections provisions contained in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 which were rolled in the FAA Reauthorization bill. In short, this legislation is a win for aviation stakeholders and American citizens, and we thank Senator Inhofe for his leadership in securing its passage."

“Helicopter Association International thanks Senator Inhofe’s tireless work and leadership on behalf of all pilots,” said Matt Zucarro, president of Helicopter Association International. “The aviation industry, and the helicopter industry specifically, faces a severe shortage of pilots and mechanics. Senator Inhofe’s work on these critical issues are included in the FAA Reauthorization bill and will be an important tool to help bring more people into the industry which offers well-paying careers. Other critical reforms championed by Senator Inhofe such as timely access to designated pilot examiners and expanded pilot protections will provide essential improvements to general aviation pilots. HAI commends Senator Inhofe as a stalwart defender of general aviation.”

“The Air Care Alliance applauds the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018,” said Jeffrey Kahn, chairman of the Board of the Air Care Alliance. “Introduced by Senator Inhofe, Section 584 of the Act protects volunteer pilots who conduct free medical patient transport and other charitable flights from liability beyond the limits of their insurance coverage.  As a result, pilots will no longer fear that their good deeds could place their families at financial risk.  Pilots who have refrained from charitable flying because of these concerns can now join the ranks of countless thousands of other volunteers who contribute their skills and resources for the public good and have long enjoyed the same protection under the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997. This could not have happened without Senator Inhofe’s relentless efforts. We are also thankful for the support of aviation organizations including GAMA and AOPA.”

“The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association thanks Senator Jim Inhofe for his leadership and efforts in helping support General Aviation in this FAA bill,” said Mark Baker president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. “While the legislation contains several provisions helpful to GA, we have much work to do going forward.  Our members spoke loudly and often throughout this process and I am most pleased that the costly ATC reform proposal that divided Congress and the aviation community for nearly two years is not included in this legislation.  We can now look forward and work to build consensus to ensure that our nation’s aviation system remains the safest and most efficient in the world.”

“The FAA reauthorization bill supplies the stability needed for the agency to move forward with its most important initiatives, and includes a number of items of benefits to general aviation ranging from NOTAM access to GA airport funding,” said Jack J. Pelton, CEO and chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association. “Senator Inhofe’s leadership also helped ensure that ATC privatization stayed out of the legislation while important efforts such as aviation workforce development were maintained.”

“We thank Senator Inhofe for his work on a much-needed, long-term Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. “His efforts on certification reform, protecting volunteer pilots who fly to help those in need and advancing the development of a strong and talented aviation workforce, including the nation’s veterans, will strengthen the general aviation manufacturing and maintenance industry.”

“Airbus is pleased that Congress included within its FAA Reauthorization bill a provision to ensure that the FAA Aircraft Registry Office in Oklahoma City, Okla., remains open during any future government shutdown or emergency,” said Jeff Knittel, the chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas. “This is a critically important provision that will ensure that aircraft and helicopters manufactured in the U.S. are able to be delivered to customers on a timely basis and that new safety technologies are able to be deployed without delay from a government shutdown. We express thanks to Senator Inhofe for his leadership on this important provision.”

“The National Association of State Aviation Officials’ members across the country are grateful that Congress has adopted key elements of Senator Inhofe's FLIGHT Act; these provisions will ensure that critical funding intended for general aviation airports remains with general aviation airports," said John Shea, interim president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials. "We are appreciative to Sen. Inhofe for being a steadfast champion for general aviation pilots and for safeguarding pilots’ rights to enjoy fairness and due process when accused of violating regulations. The new FAA Reauthorization bill also includes long-awaited, important and needed provisions championed by Senator Inhofe that will help to alleviate the pilot and aviation technician shortage. Senator Inhofe deserves to be recognized as a truly stalwart defender of general aviation."

“The aviation maintenance education community thanks Senator Inhofe for his strong support of workforce development in the FAA reauthorization bill,” said Crystal Maguire, executive director of the Aviation Technician Education Council. “Thanks to his leadership, Congress clearly prioritized modernization of aviation technical curriculum to help ensure future aviators are better prepared for good jobs and federal aid provided for in the law will further incentivize development of programs to address an imminent aviation technical workforce shortage. ATEC looks forward to working with the community to capitalize on the Senator’s good work.”

“The National League of Cities is thrilled to see the inclusion of the aviation maintenance workforce development pilot program in the final FAA bill,” said Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, Arkansas, president of the National League of Cities. “We thank Senator Jim Inhofe for his strong leadership in ensuring this important program is available to cities as we invest in strategies to address the workforce needs in a critical sector to cities across the country.  As city leaders work to address the aging physical infrastructure needs in communities across America, we must simultaneously invest in the people that make these projects possible. This program is an important step forward in that direction.”

“The Allied Pilots Association applauds Senator Inhofe for his steadfast support of various pro-pilot provisions now included in the final FAA reauthorization bill,” said Capt. Dan Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association. “Thanks to Senator Inhofe, the bill will be easier for young Americans to pursue a flying career by enabling high school students to take ground school classes. The bill will also help boost the number of Designated Pilot Examiners for pilots and pilot training schools, and serve as a Good Samaritan Law for volunteer pilots, providing them with liability protection when they’re flying for the public benefit.”

“It is my privilege, on behalf of the 2,400-plus NetJets pilots, to express our sincere gratitude for Sen. Inhofe’s vision and unrelenting commitment to pursuing legislation that protects pilots and sustains our proud profession,” said Pedro Leroux, president of the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots. “Most recently, select provisions of his SARA Act were incorporated into the FAA Reauthorization measure that enhance pilot recruitment, training and support. This, along with his advocacy for language that mandates a study and revision of 60-year-old flight duty and rest rules for Part 135 carriers, is a testament to his enduring leadership on issues of tremendous importance to aviators – both professional and hobbyists – across the industry.”

“We appreciate Sen. Inhofe’s leadership in advancing a long-term FAA reauthorization bill that invests in the future of aviation by incentivizing and encouraging young men and women to explore careers in the industry,” said Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president of Airlines for America. “We share Sen. Inhofe’s passion for aviation, and we value his commitment to ensuring a vibrant workforce stands ready to meet the needs of the traveling and shipping public today and in the years to come.”

“The members of the Cargo Airline Association are grateful for Senator Inhofe’s leadership that led to the inclusion of key provisions in the FAA Reauthorization legislation which focus on the aviation industry’s workforce challenges,” said Steve Alterman, president of the Cargo Airlines Association. “Specifically, language focused on pilot education as well as designated pilot examiner reform will go a long way to start addressing the shortages in the pilot pipeline and aviation workforce.  Senator Inhofe recognized in order to maintain a robust industry that steps needed to be taken now and we are pleased to see many of them included in this legislation.”

“A number of key provisions of the SARA Act, including supporting curriculum development to encourage high school students to get involved in aviation and ensuring FAA has an adequate number of pilot examiners, are part of the long-term FAA reauthorization legislation agreed to by Congressional leaders,” said Faye Malarkey Black president of the Regional Airline Association. “RAA commends Senator Inhofe for introducing the SARA Act with co-sponsors Senators Duckworth, Boozman, Hatch and Wicker, and for their leadership in advocating for its provisions to be included in the final FAA bill. Their leadership will help inspire the next generation of pilots and grow the pilot workforce.”