November 1, 2008

QRecognizing that both aviation users and the general public receive significant benefits from a safe and efficient air transportation system, Congress has funded the FAA through an appropriation that combines funding from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (aviation taxes) and the general fund. Do you support continuing to fund approximately 25 percent of the FAA’s budget with general fund dollars?

John McCain

The FAA reauthorization bills that I supported while chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee contained funding formulas that were designed to ensure that the full financial resources of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund were used to modernize airports and the national airspace system. The bills also included a general fund contribution to the FAA’s budget to pay for agency activities such as providing air traffic control services to the Department of Defense.

Barack Obama

General aviation is an important part of our transportation infrastructure, as well as our national economy. As such, I believe there should continue to be a role for general fund dollars in funding the FAA.

Next: Industry observers, think tanks, and some airlines have proposed a variety of management structures for the FAA’s air traffic control system. Do you believe air traffic control is a fundamental government function or should be spun off to the private sector?