Have You Heard the News?
Have you heard the news? Some big changes are being proposed to our highway system, and they could send shockwaves throughout the country. This proposed legislation would affect each and every one of us who depends on our roads and highways for transportation.
The trucking industry believes that since they rely on our roads and highways for transporting their goods, those roads and highways should be upgraded to provide for better and safer roads for everyone to use. They are proposing an upgrade to our roads that would allow for more efficient use of our roadway infrastructure.
So, upgrading our roads and highways is a good thing, right?
The trucking industry is also proposing that control of our highway and road system be transferred from local, state and federal control to a civilian-run non-profit company that would be in charge of upgrading our roads and highways as they see fit. They are proposing that a nine-member board be in charge of this company, and the trucking industry would have five seats on the board since it relies on our highways and roads the most. The other four board seats would be filled with one member each to represent the needs of private auto drivers, motorcycle riders, taxi drivers, and bicycle riders (yes, they use our roads too).
As you might guess, many people are outraged about this proposed law. Those who are not in the trucking industry say this is not needed as our government bodies on federal, state and local levels do a good job maintaining our highways and roads. They fear that this new proposed civilian company would focus only on trucking-specific needs and upgrades while ignoring rural and town roads and the needs of ordinary drivers like us. They also express fear that this new proposed entity would create new regulations to their benefit that would limit the number of non-transport vehicles on the major highways at peak hours in order to allow for more efficient trucking operations. Their majority numbers on the board would mean they could pretty much do anything they want.
Sound ridiculous? Well, it is – it's just not true. Well, at least as far as our roads and highways go.
But there is similar legislation being proposed in the House of Representatives that would mean that the control of our national air space would be given over to a civilian-run organization. Instead of trucking companies in the above example, majority control would be given to the airlines. General aviation organizations fear this would slow down the growth and access that we enjoy today. After all, isn’t it the NATIONAL air space, not the AIRLINE air space.
NBAA’s Ed Bolen and EAA’s Jack Pelton spoke last week at a town hall meeting in Racine, WI, and the D.O.M. staff was in attendance. It was good to see interest that attendees had in learning about this proposed law and how it could hurt general aviation. CLICK HERE to read some highlights from the meeting and watch a brief video of the event.
While you are there, why not take some time and use the tools available by NBAA to contact your State representatives? Let them know your thoughts on how these proposed changes will affect you.
Thanks for reading!