The White House and The FAA have submitted their new funding request to congress. The request included sweeping new changes to the way that the FAA is funded. The largest change is the institution of user fees for FAA services. A move that would not only decrease the overall funding of the FAA, but remove a large portion of congressional oversight of an organization that has great responsibilities in making aviation safe for everyone.It’s not just oversight, shifting to user fees will have a cooling effect of General Aviation. Pilots will fly less frequently, less aircraft will be built, jobs will be lost and essential services that GA provides to rural areas will become less available. There is a mistaken impression that Pilots are wealthy and have little concern for the costs of their hobbies. Let me tell you that this is not the truth. Personally, I have to plan my flying expenditures very carefully. I have to save for every flight I take. Many pilots are in the same situation as I am. The costs of flying are already hard for me to meet. Even the slightest increase will make them nearly impossible.
Airlines will argue that they pay for 90% of the funding of the FAA, but only make up 69% of the use of the ACT system. What the fail to mention that major system costs are incurred during peak demands places on the system by the airlines’ hub-and-spoke, rush-hour operations, not individual GA flights. The airlines shift these costs to there customers, but now want to shift the costs away from there commercial enterprise, and onto people that have no way to make up those costs.
The current excise tax on fuel is the fairest method of funding, the more you fly, the more you pay, and is more than adequate to fund the FAA into the future. Changing the funding schema now does not make sense, and would harm a greater number of people.AOPA EAA