FAA Makes Its Case for User Fees

 - March 15, 2007, 11:40 AM

“The greatest flaw in the current system is the corporate jet versus the airline,” said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. Testifying before Congress this week on the Administration’s proposal for future FAA funding, Blakey claimed that while a corporate jet “consumes the same ATC services as an airliner, because the corporate jet has no [paying] passengers, under the current financing system, it contributes far less to the funding of ATC services than ticketed passengers flying on the airline.” Under the agency’s funding plan, she said, most commercial aviation operators, including Part 135 air taxis and fractional operations, “would pay for their fair share of the costs of ATC services through user fees, while general aviation users and some commercial users would pay for these services through a cost-calibrated [read: increasing] fuel tax.” The funding proposal also includes what Blakey calls “modest user fees” to pay for the costs of 25 activities in the areas of issuing of pilot and medical certificates, appointment and training of designees and registration of aircraft and airmen.