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Plan to reduce aviation red tape goes to Obama

Legislation aimed at reducing federal regulatory red tape to get new designs and safety features in the small aviation industry, including Duluth-based Cirrus Aviation, is headed to President Obama's desk.

The U.S. House on Thursday passed a version of the bill already approved by the Senate.

The Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 would modernize the Federal Aviation Administration's Part 23 certification process to improve safety, decrease costs and encourage innovation, according to supporters. That includes U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, Minnesota Democrats.

"Right now, red tape is slowing down the ability of our small aircraft manufacturers, like Cirrus, from bringing new aircraft into the aviation market due to a slow and outdated approval process. We want our manufacturers to be globally competitive, creating the most innovative, the safest, and the most advanced planes in the world," Klobuchar said in a statement. "This legislation will simplify the process for businesses and the FAA and help our aviation sector grow and succeed."

"Small aircraft manufacturers in America have been slowly choking over the past 20 years due to an outdated, unnecessarily lengthy approval process that increases the price of safety and technology upgrades by up to 10 times," Nolan said in a statement. "This bill gets to the root of the problem, and we look forward to the president's signature."

"We are often an industry that gets lost in the bigger issues of our government and we appreciate the recognition of our contribution to the local and national economy," said Dale Klapmeier, co-founder and CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. "General aviation is a viable, flexible and economical form of personal transportation that should be supported at every level."

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