AOPA Asks FAA To Scrap Congestion Pricing

 - April 11, 2008, 12:05 PM

“Congestion pricing should be the FAA’s last resort, not its first,” noted AOPA president Phil Boyer. “The agency’s [congestion pricing] proposal does nothing to improve the national air transportation system and could in fact hurt general aviation’s access to airports.” AOPA has offered the FAA and DOT several alternative suggestions to reduce delays, including aligning schedules with capacity benchmarks; implementing changes in ATC procedures; ensuring adequate ATC staffing; adding more runways to existing airports; and mandating key technologies at congested airports. The association is getting involved in this issue because “the possibility that this policy could expand to reliever and other general aviation airports is alarming,” according to AOPA executive vice president of government affairs Andy Cebula. “Airports that don’t even have airline service may see DOT’s new emphasis on congestion pricing as a green light to start charging our members more to use their facilities, even though such tactics at those airports would have absolutely no effect on system-wide delays.”