When a Washington, D.C., think tank leaked a copy of its report on business aviation to the national media a day ahead of its scheduled release, reporters turned to AOPA, which immediately rose to the defense of general aviation.
“Even before the report was public, we were on the record, punching holes in it,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) report might as well have been written by the airlines: It contains almost all of the discredited arguments they’ve made in support of user fees over the past three years. In an interview with ABC News’ Web site, Boyer explained the fallacies of those arguments.
“The air traffic control system is here for the airlines,” he told the network. He also noted that businesspeople using general aviation bring economic activity to communities, citing Wal-Mart, with its fleet of 40 corporate aircraft, as a company that uses its planes to be a leader in its class.
“The good news is that the airlines have already tried all these arguments, and nobody on Capitol Hill is buying [it],” said Boyer. “Both houses of Congress have rejected user fees in their FAA reauthorization bills.”
The Alliance for Aviation Across America also weighed in quickly, with information that countered many of the IPS report’s claims. It released a written response that addressed what the Alliance called “Think Tank Propaganda” with facts that exposed the report for what it is.
“This inside-the-Beltway study does little more than promote an unpopular proposal that would have serious repercussions for the small businesses and towns,” said Neil Ritchie, an Alliance member and president of the League of Rural Voters. “By advocating for the big airlines’ bottom line over the economies of rural communities, the authors of the study are joining the airlines in a full attack on the very backbone of our country.”
AOPA is a cofounder of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.