The head of the Air Transport Association, as
expected, has repeated the call for aviation user fees to bolster
FAA's budget, a move that would offload millions of
dollars of fees paid by the airlines onto general aviation
ATA President/CEO James May made his comments on Friday, Jan.
27, at the National Aeronautic Association in Washington,
In his speech, May repeated the airlines' stand that business
aviation and the emerging very light jet market are not paying
their fair share of fees to operate the air traffic management
"While we are pleased the head of ATA agrees that GA pilots
operating from uncontrolled fields, in VFR conditions, have minimum
use of the system and should be exempt from any user fees, he is
missing the major point," said Earl Lawrence (pictured right), EAA
vice president of industry and regulatory affairs.
"The air carriers are
engaged in a coordinated effort to displace their economic problems
and failing business model on everybody else. A main scapegoat
is general aviation, which the carriers allege is not paying its
fair share. In particular, the airlines are targeting business
aviation and the promising new very light jet industry in an effort
to increase the cost of operating those aircraft and reduce the
competition they pose to the airlines' business traveler
Revenues generated by the airline ticket tax have dropped by
approximately 20 percent because of market-driven low fares. As the
airlines continue to sell tickets below the cost of providing
service, the revenue into the trust fund continues to
EAA agrees with May that with lower revenues flowing into the
trust fund combined with it being robbed for general operations,
the FAA will not be adequately funded in the future.
User fees, however, is not the fix for this problem.