User Fees – Congressional Debate Continues

Congressional Hearings On FAA Continue

The U.S. House of Representatives aviation subcommittee on Wednesday held another in its recent series of hearings about the FAA and its plans for funding the future airspace system. AOPA President Phil Boyer was there and said the FAA has spent the last two years “manufacturing a funding crisis” to justify a change to user fees. He asked the committee to reject the FAA’s funding proposal. “Then we can all get on with the real issues at hand through a productive, meaningful discussion on how to strengthen the nation’s airports and modernize ATC,” he said. Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, also spoke. “This proposal is an effort by the FAA and the airlines to reduce Congressional authority and move toward commercialization,” Bolen said. “No one should mistake aviation user fees [for] a modernization plan.” Helicopter Association International President Matthew Zuccaro also testified. He told the committee the FAA’s proposed financing program would have an “extremely detrimental economic impact on HAI members,” and said Congress should continue to provide a general fund contribution to the FAA under the current funding system to pay for Next Generation modernization efforts. On Thursday, the subcommittee will review FAA operational and safety programs.

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