November 1, 2008

QGeneral aviation airports are an important part of the national air transportation system but are often faced with the threat of closure or limits on access. How will you support general aviation airports as part of the national airport system?

John McCain

If I am elected, one of my top transportation priorities will be to modernize the air traffic control system so it can handle the increased traffic that is forecast. The current system cannot efficiently handle these increases. Gridlock in the sky and on the ground at our airports won’t just result in longer delays for airline passengers, but it will also affect general aviation—especially in the busier airspace around our major metropolitan areas. Under such a scenario, it could become very difficult for pilots to use general aviation airports in that airspace, particularly at peak times. In my view, making better use of the air space won’t benefit just commercial aviation, but general aviation as well.

Barack Obama

General aviation produces over a million jobs in America and is an invaluable part of our economy and the lifestyle of American families across the nation. As president, I will engage the general aviation community in the FAA decision making process and take steps, as I did as a state senator, to ensure that government continues to determine how best to meet the needs of general aviation practitioners.

Next: Airlines and the current administration have proposed replacing the current system of fuel and ticket taxes to fund the FAA with a user fee-based system assessing fees on each component of a flight. What is your view of how to fund the aviation system?