US VA Flight Training Bill Decision Imminent

By Staff Writer | February 1, 2016
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The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a year-old push to reduce flight-training benefits for veterans, according to Helicopter Assn. International.
HAI said that previously proposed caps to VA flight training benefits have been rolled into H.R. 3016, a bill the assn. expects the House to address Feb. 2.
An original bill proposed by Republication Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio on Jan. 22, 2015, sought to cap flight training funds provided to U.S. military veterans through the Post-9/11 GI Bill after the public learned that a small number of flight schools were charging taxpayers to train students in high-end helicopters rather than in cheaper, entry-level trainers. Among its various proposals, the bill sought to cap flight-training funds at $20,235 per year for veterans enrolled in a college degree program. Rotorcraft industry groups heavily criticized that bill for punishing the entire flight-training segment, arguing that the fault lies instead with a small number of flight schools and with the regional VA offices that had loosely interpreted the benefits. Many also argued that veterans would no longer be able to afford flight training through a college degree program if the proposed changes were approved.

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