FAA Plan Leaves GA Airport Funding in Doubt

 - April 10, 2007, 11:23 AM

The FAA is facing questions about its proposed Airport Improvement Program (AIP) redistribution and its possible effect on the needs of small airports. A preliminary report from the Government Accountability Office says smaller airports will not be able to rely on passenger facility charges to offset any reduction in AIP funding. That assessment is echoed by the National Association of State Aviation Officials, which has gone on record against the FAA’s proposed user-fee program. Testifying recently before the House aviation subcommittee, Travis Vallin, the association’s chairman, described GA airports as “a vital and important component of the national system.” According to Vallin, much of the administration’s proposal is not in the public interest; he claims the bill has “little to do with the next-generation [air transportation] system and much to do with shifting costs between and among aviation interests.”