August 3, 2007
The Bush administration claims that it needs a huge tax increase on general aviation and new user fees for the airlines in order to pay for NextGen - the FAA's modernization plan for the air traffic control system.
But that argument isn't entirely true. Even the administration has been forced to admit that.
On Tuesday, during a hearing in the House appropriations subcommittee on transportation, and housing and urban development, ranking member Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) asked if the current excise-tax-funded aviation trust fund could pay for NextGen.
It could, admitted the administration (represented by Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel), as long as there were a continued general fund contribution.
"Once again, AOPA's analysis has been ratified by the federal government," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The current funding system could provide some $20 billion for NextGen, if we continue to pay about 23 percent of the FAA's budget from the general fund as we have done for the last four decades."
Rep. Knollenberg asked if the administration's proposed funding bill (the Next Generation Air Transportation System Financing Reform Act of 2007) could pay for NextGen.
No, not without the ability to borrow, said the Government Accountability Office's (GAO's) Managing Director of Physical Infrastructure Patricia Dalton.
"Even FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has admitted that its proposal would raise $600 to $900 million less each year than the current tax system," said Boyer. "So which funding system is 'broken?'"
March 8, 2007
FAA Financial and Regulatory,
FAA Procedures and Services,
Department of Transportation,
Government Accountability Office,
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
Shell announced Dec. 3 the development of an unleaded aviation fuel that will be submitted for certification as a "performance drop-in" avgas replacement.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.