User Fees – AOPA

The Bush administration’s claims that it needs a huge tax increase on general aviation and new user fees for the airlines in order to pay for NextGen?the FAA’s modernization plan for the air traffic control system. But during a hearing in the House Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, housing and urban development, and related agencies Tuesday, the truth came out: The current system works; the Bush administration’s proposal is what’s broken. Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel, who was representing the administration, admitted that the current excise-tax-funded aviation trust fund could pay for NextGen, as long as there were a continued general fund contribution. “Once again, AOPA’s analysis has been ratified by the federal government,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer. And a Government Accountability Office representative said that the administration’s proposed funding bill couldn’t pay for NextGen without borrowing money. “So which funding system is ‘broken?'” Boyer asked.

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