Haven't Slept - New FAA Funding Request for '08


Hey, wondering what ya’ll think. I haven’t slept since the news about the new manner in which the government wants to fund the FAA (which is not broken).

They want to increase fuel taxes 4 fold on GA, along with a plethora of new fees on GA. The airlines want out of funding the FAA (along with increasing the fees to the Netjets, Flight Options, etc of the world that is siphoning off their premium customers). This will have the effect of destroying GA and the freedom of the skies we now enjoy and take for granted (see www.aopa.org for more information)…

What do you all think? I can’t sleep…



I think that the airlines are trying to cost shift anything that they can to GA and they have some good lobbyists. AOPA (aopa.org) has some very good info about this. Interesting that the General Accounting Office just gave the FAA a failing grade on their ability to manage their business - could not account for many millions of dollars of equipment or spending. If you look at how effective the ‘FAA’ is for GA in other countries that the FAA says they are trying to copy, pilots will tell you it is a miserable failure.


Imagine that ground travel was mostly by bus. Now imagine that new technology was going to make it so that more and more people were going to start going by taxi and private car.

This is how the bus companies, and the transportation office would act.

They are trying to destroy change before it gets a good start.

This will destroy aviation innovation, and cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars over the long haul, if not worse.





I couldn’t sleep either , and my mental wanderings came to this topic.

Am I wrong, or isn’t the need for user fees based on the premises that:

-Use of smaller planes by airlines was causing trends where the FAA was having more traffic to cover while simultaneously receiving less ticket taxes per plane.

-Demand for air travel was expected to rise again.

-Along with VLJ’s, these trends were going to put the FAA in an ever increasing bind of higher costs and lower revenues.

Now, isn’t it also the case that most, if not all, of the congestion problem is around a few really large airports where arrival and departure slots are now limited?

Am I being stupid with this conclusion?:

The market will solve this problem! As the landing slots become constrained, the only way for the airlines to meet demand will be to use larger and larger airplanes. Further demand will be met by using the RJ’s for more direct flights that do not now exist, and which will bypass the busy hubs.

Lastly, VLJ owners and operators are by definition price conscious and will want to be avoiding the busiest airports which all have high prices and fees as it is.

We don’t need a government concocted market scheme like we got with California energy deregulation. Market forces are going to act on the system we have now! Maybe the FAA should ask that the ticket tax not be formulated on seat price, but reinventing the wheel seems to be unnecessary. In fact, you have to wonder why they didn’t see what I see here.



I think your reasoning is sound, but missing a couple of points:

  1. There is no current or forecast problem with the FAA having sufficient funding under the current funding mechanism as determined by the GAO.

  2. The proposal for a new funding mechanism, therefore, is not being driven by any internal economic reason, but by the major airlines who are looking to shift costs to others and have very effective lobbyists working it. Since most majors have poor financial results, they need to cut every possible dollar from their budget and shifting FAA costs to others is a juicy target for them. The majors know that they will continue to get the best service and can do so at a reduced cost.


Except that it, the current funding regulation, expires in September.

Which, coincidentally, is the same expiration date for Maid Marian.


Its like the automobile and tire companies tearing up all the trolley lines in the cities so everyone would have to travel by car (which they did at the turn of the last century)…

Simple, tax the little man out of the system, leaving only the airlines to play in the sandbox with the FAA.

There is no FAA funding crisis, plain and simple. Yet through the media, they want it to sound like the sky is falling. An insertion of “thousands” of VLJs (not hardly), lack of airspace (not hardly, have any of these bureaucrats ever been out of the northeast corridor?), and decreasing numbers of controllers (not hardly again, automation and a simple lack of GA traffic will reduce the number of controllers required by the FAA).

It is a perfect storm brewed by the airlines and the FAA to destroy GA (and destroy along with GA the fractional jet companies, VLJs, and private enterprises (e.g., mom and pop businesses at local airports) which are syphoning of their lucrative first class passengers).

We (GA Proponents) need to stop this now by writing our representatives and tell them to leave the funding the way it is and the way it presently collects billions - through the aviation trust fund ticket tax.


Several years ago, I was told, by an FAA employee, face to face, that it was the FAA’s intention to eliminate geneeral aviation


I know that there is plenty of evidence that no crisis exists, but I also know that there were claims of a funding crisis.

It would seem that the best plan would be to attack on both fronts - deny the crisis exists, and show why it will be getting better.