Fallout from Senate Hearing Swift and Strong

 - July 17, 2007, 11:32 AM

Industry reaction to last week’s Senate Finance Committee hearing to discuss FAA reauthorization and the prospect of user fees was as strong as the statements some senators made during the hearing. The Alliance for Aviation Across America urged the committee to “endorse the common-sense approach to modernization that has been put forth by the members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.” AOPA noted that numerous senators at the hearing were skeptical of the $25 user fee, with some suggesting that the airlines were getting a break with the Senate’s bill. Meanwhile, in prepared testimony for the hearing, the Government Accountability Office’s Gerald Dillingham said, as he has in the past, that the FAA will be fully funded in the future if the current funding structure is left in place. Also in prepared testimony, Peter Orszag of the Congressional Budget Office said that given the current mechanism, the FAA’s trust fund will have more than $22 billion in the bank in 10 years.