FAA Funding Scheme Greeted Coolly on Capitol Hill

 - February 15, 2007, 9:56 AM

With one congressman calling it “dead on arrival,” the FAA yesterday released its new proposal for financing the agency over the next 10 years, a plan that would more than triple general aviation fuel taxes, from 21.8 cents per gallon to 70 cents per gallon, and create a mishmash of new and/or higher fees for such things as pilot licensing, aircraft certifications and other services. The ink was barely dry when members of the House aviation subcommittee began taking potshots at the FAA reauthorization measure, which would also institute new user fees for GA flights that pass through airspace within several miles of large airports. All domestic commercial and GA users would also pay a fuel tax of 13.6 cents per gallon (included in the 70-cent increase) to fund the Airport Improvement Program, the Essential Air Service program and the FAA’s R & D. The 7.5-percent airline ticket tax–which is paid by airline passengers–would be replaced with a system of user fees, which the airlines undoubtedly will pass on to passengers.