By Dan Hubbard
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is urging congressional lawmakers to reject a bill (H.R. 476) that would limit college flight-training benefits for military veterans.
In a joint letter dated May 19, NBAA and six other aviation associations called on leaders of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to oppose the bill, which the panel is expected to consider as early as May 21.
The proposed legislation would cap U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding for four-year public colleges at $20,980 per year. Since tuition and flight-training fees often exceed that amount, many veterans would no longer be able to afford to obtain an aeronautical college degree with a commercial pilot’s license.
H.R. 476 would “cause immediate and alarming changes” to the education benefits that Congress promised to veterans, the letter says. While controlling costs is warranted, the cap would “harm veterans and limit their employment opportunities in the aviation industry,” and would exacerbate the nation’s commercial pilot shortage.
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