Before a crowd of some 1,000 general aviation pilots and enthusiasts, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced Thursday that he has directed the FAA to extend the comment period by 90 days and hold an AOPA-requested public meeting on the plan to make the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) permanent. Mineta made the announcement during the opening general session of AOPA Expo 2005 in Tampa, Florida. Mineta also urged pilots to be accountable for their actions and follow the security requirements that are in place. And Mineta addressed an issue that’s top-of-mind for many general aviation pilots?user fees. Answering a question from an audience member, Mineta said that solving the FAA’s future funding problems is not going to be a one-size-fits-all fix. “I can tell you right now from my perspective [the solution] will not be user fees,” Mineta added to resounding applause. Mineta also said that he would support AOPA’s recommendation to continue using fuel taxes as the most effective and fair means of funding the FAA. But Mineta agreed that the battle over funding is not yet won and encouraged AOPA to maintain its vigilance.

Source: AOPA ePilot

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