Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Royal Trouncing

Anyone involved in general aviation should already know that the FAA has announced a proposal to change the way in which air traffic control functions are funded in the U.S. The short version is that they want to eliminate taxes that airline passengers pay, replacing that source of funding with a near quadrupling of taxes on aviation gasoline and jet fuel as well as user fees for GA aircraft that request ATC services around large airports.

The strange thing is that the Office of Management and Budget projections show that the current funding scheme is adequate to meet the needs of the FAA and the flying public. So what's the big deal, you ask?

Many pilots to whom I have spoken don't seem to be too worried, resting assured that "they don't have the votes in congress" to implement such a radical shift in funding. While this may be true, it is still important that all GA pilots let their voices be heard. I believe that this privatization debate needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

Here's what you can do to stop the FAA's proposal:

1) Join AOPA, EAA, or both.

2) Fax a letter to your senators and your member of congress asking that this proposal be stopped. If you're not sure what to say, here are some suggestions.

3) In addition to faxing your letters, mail them as hardcopies, too.

As one of the pilots I fly with so eloquently put it:
We need to kick their butts so badly that they won't come back with another such proposal for at least 10 years.


Ron said...


Greybeard said...

Thanks for focusing on this, John.
My letters are on the way.

We must be constantly vigilant.
The FAA tries to pull this crap now and then.
Wonder what has happened recently to make them think they might be successful trying it now? (Heh).

All of us involved in any facet of aviation are rich folks, don't ya know!