Industry stakeholders should take a “careful approach” in recommending funding and other structural reforms to the U.S. aviation system, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at a NextGen symposium on Thursday in Washington, D.C. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Air Line Pilots Association International sponsored the event.
During a discussion about NextGen modernization funding, panelists agreed that industry stakeholders are moving in the right direction by convening discussions about reasonable approaches to reform funding for important programs such as NextGen. Airlines for America president Nicholas Calio said a national policy approach is needed to “treat the industry as the strategic asset that it is for the nation.” He said this should include a fresh look at the tax and regulatory structure; how to provide adequate, steady funding for NextGen; and restructuring the FAA.
Bolen echoed Calio’s comments, but noted, “Anything a user-fee system can do for us, the fuel tax mechanism does better. Business aviation fully supports paying for its share of the system using the fuel tax; it’s easy, simple, fast and efficient,” adding that it creates no administrative burden on companies and it does not require a costly bureaucracy to operate.