Says Senator's "Suggestion" Isn't Based On Facts
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen reiterated Thursday the general
aviation community's support for aviation system modernization, a
topic of discussion at a Congressional hearing.
"Unfortunately, a suggestion was made at today's hearing that
general aviation is an obstacle to modernization," Bolen said.
"That simply is not the case."
Bolen refers to comments made by Senator John D.
Rockefeller (D-WV), who said an FAA reauthorization
plan stood no chance of passing in 2007 "based on the GA
community's inability to compromise" on agreeing to a
$25-per-flight user fee for most turbine aircraft flying under IFR
flight plans, as called for under the Senate reauthorization bill
Contradicting the senator's assertions, Bolen noted general
aviation has been united in supporting funding provisions in two
Congressional modernization proposals, H.R. 2881 and S.2345,
because the bills tie a 65-percent tax increase on general aviation
fuel taxes directly to system transformation -- while wisely
avoiding the creation of a giant, expensive and overly burdensome
user fee bureaucracy.
"The fuel tax is a proven, efficient means for general aviation
to pay at the pump for use of the system," Bolen said. "These two
Congressional proposals build on the time-tested fuel tax to
provide additional revenues for FAA funding and aviation system
Bolen (right) also called into
question an FAA study referenced during the hearing, which provides
a flawed analysis of the amount general aviation currently pays for
its use of the system.
"First, FAA data shows that general aviation pays approximately
nine percent of the revenues into the aviation Trust Fund - not the
three percent quoted today," Bolen said. "But equally important,
the methodology used in the study is at odds with mainstream
economic practices and the guidelines of the International Civil
Aviation Organization. Even the Governmental Accountability Office
- the watchdog for Congress - has said the conclusions in the study
can't be fully substantiated.
"NBAA and the rest of the general aviation community have long
supported aviation system modernization," Bolen said. "We will
continue to work with members of the Commerce Committee, and
everyone in Congress, to get a final FAA reauthorization bill that
will provide much-needed improvements to the nation's air traffic