Tester making it easier to fly across the Big Sky

Senator pushes for Pilot’s Bill of Rights, against burdensome new taxes and regulations

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is supporting multiple initiatives aimed at helping Montanans and pilots get around the Big Sky State.

Tester this month cosponsored the bipartisan “Pilot’s Bill of Rights,” which requires the FAA to provide pilots with greater access to information and fairer treatment during investigations. He also joined a bipartisan letter telling President Obama not to impose new taxes on the general aviation industry.

Tester, a founding member of the Congressional General Aviation Caucus, said that Montana’s geography makes aviation particularly important for its residents and businesspeople.

“Montanans rely on aviation more due to the sheer size of our state,” Tester said. “Business leaders, farmers and ranchers take to the air in order to get to meetings, look after their land and livestock, and grow our economy. Access to our skies is an important part of keeping Montana’s economy strong.”

Tester’s letter to Obama calls for the President to avoid new user fees on general aviation aircraft.

“With 14 million Americans looking for work, our government’s first priority should be to create an environment in which businesses can grow and hire additional workers,” Tester wrote. “The costs associated with these proposed user fees are just too high.”

Other recent Tester letters push Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson not to impose onerous new fuel requirements on pilots and tell LaHood to respect privacy rights by continuing to keep pilots’ flight paths private.

Tester is a strong and consistent advocate for Montana’s 4,000 pilots. Nationwide, general aviation contributes over $150 billion annually to the economy and supports approximately 1.2 million American jobs.