While Congress continues to analyze the future funding mechanisms for the FAA and the modernization of the air traffic control system, AOPA senior leaders are reaching out to the general aviation community to warn about the dangers of the "cost-based revenue systems" being advocated by the FAA and the airlines.
AOPA President Phil Boyer spoke to AOPA members at Pilot Town Meetings in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia, and Andy Cebula, executive vice president for government affairs, addressed an audience of aviation business leaders in Minneapolis with the same message - fund the FAA with taxes, not user fees, and keep the U.S. Congress as the board of directors for the nation's air transportation system.
The debate is heating up because the existing law establishing the taxes on aviation users will expire in October. Those taxes currently finance the bulk of the FAA's budget.
"For decades, we have relied upon a combination of taxes on aviation users and revenues from the nation's taxpayers to support the aviation system - there is no reason to change this and go to user fees," said Boyer. "The United States has a unique system and leads the world; it would be wrong to abandon the most efficient and safe system."
September 28, 2006