Business aviation pays 102 percent of its share of the costs it imposes on the ATC system, according to a new study by Washington consulting firm HLB Decision Economics.
The study, funded by NBAA, showed that business aviation paid $188 million in federal excise taxes in FY 2001. That figure is $4 million more than the amount the FAA identified as business aviation’s share in FY 2001, the last year for which data is available.
“This study refutes recent suggestions [by the airline industry and the FAA] that the general and business aviation community does not pay its fair share of the costs of operating the nation’s ATC system,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Not only does business aviation pay what it owes, it actually pays more.”
Although the FAA has stated that general aviation underpays, the study claims that the agency’s methods of calculation and assigning cost responsibility have varied widely for years. In fact, the study said that the FAA based its most recent estimates on a methodology that Congress rejected for other federal transportation agencies.
Noting that the debate about cost responsibility has dragged on for decades, the study urged Congress to act to bring more fairness to aviation funding. The HLB study is available online at http://web.nbaa.org/public/news/stats/hlb_report_costalloc.pdf.