Senate Finance Committee Divided on FAA Funding

 - July 12, 2007, 11:33 AM

Corporate aviation took flak on FAA funding proposals this morning as the architects of S.1300, the Senate FAA financing bill that includes a $25 user fee for most flights, made it clear they want business aircraft users to pay more toward ATC modernization. “I don’t want to create a system where airline passengers subsidize corporate jets,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the senate aviation subcommittee. He argued that corporate jets use ATC services but their operators don’t want to pay for them. Unless they are required to pay more, Rockefeller threatened to “look for ways to limit access” to congested areas. He added that once corporate executives are required to sit on the tarmac at airports such as Teterboro, they might change their thinking. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who coauthored S.1300 with Sen. Rockefeller, said, “This time we are going to have a fair bill or no bill. I am prepared to go to the mat on this.” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) groused in 45 minutes of opening remarks that the Senators basically advocated the $25 per flight user fee in S.1300.