01/31/2012 07:42 am ET Updated Apr 01, 2012

FAA Bill Risks End Of Tarmac Rule

In the continuing Joint House-Senate Committee debate on the final form of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, the House of Representatives is winning the battle over removing the law prohibiting airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for over three hours from the bill. They propose that the Congress passes a bill that has everything in it but the three hour time limit and mandates that the DOT set the time frames for domestic and international flights.

Why is that a problem? In the last administration the DOT's relationship to the airlines was strong and they are taking this stand for the three hour time limit because President Obama, by executive order, told them to. The DOT operates at the "will" of the president. If the next president has a pro-airline leaning, the DOT's time frames can change in a heartbeat and we could be looking at 10 hours on the tarmac instead of three for domestic flights and 14 for international flights.

If that scares you as much as it does me, if you still want a law passed with a three-hour limit, if you will not allow the airlines' lobbyists to win this battle, then you must call the congressional leadership today and every day until this is resolved favorably for the flying public. has fought hard for more than five years for this law and we deserve the strongest law possible. Without your persistent daily support for the next week, chances are we'll lose the 3 hour rule.

The Senate and House leadership working on the FAA Bill are Harry Reid, Jay Rockfeller, John Boehner, John Mica and Nancy Pelosi. Call them and let them, or whoever you talk to, that you are an airline traveler who wants the Three-Hour Rule to become part of the final FAA Reauthorization Bill.

You can also look up your own legislators and deliver the same message.

A few minutes of your time each day can carry us over the finish line.