The elections should be good not only for business aviation, but also for the overall aviation industry in the United States. Less government meddling and more free-market forces will ultimately lead to a more efficient system.
A significant change has taken place with the defeat of Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, who was the powerful chair of the House Transportation Committee.
Even had he not been defeated, with the change in party control, Rep. John Mica, R-Florida would still take the leadership position on this committee. Josh Mitchell, writing for the Wall Street Journal in a Nov. 5 article, talks about this in more detail.
If you have tracked Congress’s work (or lack thereof) in passing the FAA Funding Reauthorization Bill, you know that this bill has been held up from final passage due to non-related issues being attached to it regarding unionization of FedEx drivers. Mr. Oberstar was a friend of the unions, but his tenure in Congress is over.
Could it be that the gamesmanship might finally be over? Maybe we will get funding of NextGen and the FAA can take a long-term view of the development of the infrastructure this country needs to have an efficient air transportation system.
Another post-election article in Bloomberg discusses the major airlines gaining allies with the new Republican House on outsourcing and anti-trust issues.
Quoting from that article:
“The current Congress has been anti-airline,” said William Swelbar, a research engineer specializing in air transport at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “There will be a new set of ears to listen to the industry.”
The consensus seems to be that the new guard will be less intrusive into the affairs of the airlines and general aviation, letting the market work things out.
This is good news for the air transportation system and, ultimately, good news for the business and general aviation segments. Less interference will allow us to demonstrate our value without legislation unbalancing the system towards unions or big business interests.