HAI campaigns to protect veteran benefits

HAI campaigns to protect veteran benefits 11 Feb, 16, Source: HAI

HAI and six other general aviation associations are sending a letter to the leadership of both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives first thing Tuesday morning, warning that a bill up for a vote by the full House on Tuesday or Wednesday — H.R. 3016 — will break a promise made to veterans.

Buried in the bill is language that would place severe limits on educational benefits available for veterans seeking a flight training degree program. Addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the letter says, “The bill, which the full House is expected to consider on Tuesday will cause immediate and alarming changes to collegiate flight-training degree benefits for our nation’s military veterans.”

Signed by Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aviation Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Assocation (GAMA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the letter goes on to say, “It is important to remember that GI Bill education benefits are an important recruiting tool for the Armed Forces. We remain committed to working with Congress to ensure our nation is standing behind the commitment made to veterans who have honorably served our nation and who are working on the next chapter of their lives.

“H.R. 3016 is a disservice to our nation’s veterans,” the letter concludes. “[It] will exacerbate the deteriorating pool of commercial pilots — thereby accelerating the pilot shortage in this country — and will have a lasting detrimental effect on commercial aviation in the United States. Therefore, we respectfully oppose HR 3016 in its current form.”

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