Metropolitan Washington D.C. Federation of Musicians
The Executive Board of Local 161-710 stands against racism and condemns all acts of racial violence. It is vitally important that we use not only our music, but our collective voice in unity with the Black community in our commitment to work toward justice for all. We must ensure that our votes are counted if we are to effect the change which is so urgently needed in our society.
Local 161-710 members participate in Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day events in and around the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area.
The AFM applauds the passage of the FAA Bill that sets a consistent national policy allowing musical instruments on airplanes
After five years and 23 short-term extensions, Congress has passed legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the next four years. Included in the bill are provisions that create a uniform national policy regarding musical instruments on airplanes. Any instrument that can be safely stored in the overhead compartment or underneath the seat may be brought on board as carry-on luggage. Additionally, the bill sets standard weight and size requirements for checked instruments, and permits musicians to purchase a seat for oversized instruments, such as cellos, that are too delicate to be checked. Existing law allowed each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instruments, and size requirements varied widely for both carry-on and checked baggage. The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) has been lobbying Congress to enact such a policy for nearly a decade.
“This is great news for professional musicians throughout the U.S. and Canada who carry the tools of our trade – our instruments – aboard commercial aircraft,” said AFM President Ray Hair. “Ending the confusion over musical instruments as carry-on baggage has been a top legislative priority for nearly a decade. I am proud of our Government Relations Director, Hal Ponder and his assistant Laura Brigandi in our Washington legislative office for seeing the effort through. Musicians can now fly in friendlier skies.”
The FAA reauthorization was passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, February 3 by a 248-169 vote. It subsequently passed the Senate on Monday, February 6, 75-20. The President is expected to sign the bill into law.