Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO James May used a hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming last month as a bully pulpit to bash corporate jets and promote the airlines’ tax agenda.
In testimony before the committee, May claimed that airline jets are five to six times more fuel efficient than corporate jets. “The math is simple: carrying 200 people and cargo across the country in a single plane burns a lot less fuel than 33 separate corporate jets, each flying six people,” May argued.
He said that U.S. airlines improved their fuel efficiency by 103 percent between 1978 and 2006, the equivalent of taking roughly 17 million cars off the road. ATA carriers have made a commitment to improving their fuel efficiency by an additional 30 percent by 2025. They are also supporting commercially viable, environmentally friendlier jet fuels.
The boss of the airline lobby added that the commercial aviation industry can achieve an additional 15 percent in fuel efficiency if Congress approves the NextGen ATC system. “Congress should ensure that our outdated air traffic control system is modernized to permit more direct routes, saving fuel and emissions,” May said.
ATA, like the Bush Administration, wants the FAA and NextGen to be financed by user fees, particularly those paid by operators of corporate jets.