FAA Reauthorization Bill Still No Closer

 - November 26, 2007, 7:09 AM

Congress last month once again extended the FAA’s current authorization and aviation taxes until December 14, making it increasingly unlikely that the question of how to pay for operating the FAA and simultaneously modernizing the entire air traffic system will be settled anytime soon. Meanwhile, President Bush urged lawmakers to modernize the FAA according to his administration’s “blueprint,” which would establish a new financing mechanism and governing structure to “ensure that these reforms are carried out in wise and cost-effective ways.” Bush’s “blueprint” would raise the general aviation fuel tax for jet fuel and aviation gasoline to 70 cents per gallon and the commercial fuel tax to 13.6 cents per gallon, in addition to a vast user-fee system that includes departure and en route charges, as well as fees for use of congested airspace.