Independent FAA is what’s needed, says AOPA, not two DOT-controlled aviation organizations
Phil Boyer, president of the 340,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, issued the following statement on the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Services Improvement Act announced April 20, 1998:
“The administration’s proposal would send air traffic control in the wrong direction. It would create two organizations, Air Traffic Services and the FAA, accountable to the Department of Transportation. Under the proposed legislation, the secretary of Transportation would be directly involved in setting user fees and making technical policy decisions. As a presidential appointee, that can only further politicize air traffic control and do little to modernize the system.
“AOPA has argued for decades that the FAA should be independent and free from the micromanagment of the Department of Transportation. Splitting the FAA into two organizations does not solve the problems aviation faces today and in the future.
“AOPA is pleased that, at least in this bill, general aviation would continue to pay through the fuel tax and would not initially pay user fees. Yet despite the lack of an FAA cost accounting system, the administration singled out general aviation for not paying enough. That makes us wonder about long-term plans for increased taxes or future general aviation user fees.”
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, based outside Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest civil aviation organization, representing pilots and aircraft owners who utilize general aviation aircraft for personal and business transportation. More than one half of the nation’s pilots and 75 percent of the nation’s aircraft owners are AOPA members.
April 21, 1998