With the current lull in the FAA funding battle, the airlines are grasping at anything to make the same old, inaccurate arguments about user fees. They’ll even politicize the Kentucky Derby.
In a mass e-mail message dated May 19, Air Transport Association (ATA) President and CEO James May expresses admiration for Big Brown, the thoroughbred that easily loped to victory this year. Unlike Big Brown, the airlines still find themselves stuck at the starting gate, unable to move forward with a user fee agenda that has no legs.
While watching the event on TV, May gets distracted during the winner’s circle celebrations. He starts thinking about how airline passengers somehow “subsidize” the “posh” trips to the race for the privileged few. That’s a big leap, even for Big Brown, and bigger still for big iron.
The Alliance for Aviation Across America, a coalition of aviation enthusiasts, airports, and civic groups, took aim at May’s claims with a healthy dose of reality: