Government Reports Split on User Fee Issue

 - March 27, 2007, 12:04 PM

A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and testimony from the DOT Inspector General released last week show that some agencies of the government remain mixed on the necessity of user fees and how or if they should be implemented. The GAO’s report said while the current FAA funding mechanism will be able to support the agency well into the future, including ATC modernization costs, the current way in which users are taxed remains unconnected to their use of the system. However, the report criticizes the reauthorization bill for proposing a system that doesn’t prove the FAA will be able to garner necessary revenues. The DOT IG’s testimony made similar points but added that GA is a not insignificant burden on ATC, and that the FAA’s current cost accounting system can support the proposal. Both points are a blow to some GA trade associations, as they have made counter arguments on these points in the past.