November 1, 2008

QAirlines 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?

Barack Obama

I believe we must continue to use an appropriate mixture of reasonable taxes and fees to fund the FAA.

John McCain

I am very frustrated with infighting over FAA financing between different parts of the aviation community that has occurred over the last two years. This infighting has resulted in the FAA’s reauthorization already being delayed in Congress by at least a year and I don’t see it getting done anytime soon. While distracted by this fighting, we are losing valuable time that should be spent modernizing the air traffic control system. I hope all aviation interests can work together to develop a consensus financing system that will be robust enough to fund the FAA’s requirements, especially modernization. I fear that it will be very difficult to adequately fund the FAA while the aviation community is in a civil war over funding. The result of such a scenario will be that the whole community loses and one that our country can’t afford.

Next: Recognizing 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?