Washington, DC – The Alliance for Aviation Across America released the following statement in response to today’s Senate Finance Committee hearing regarding reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration:
“As the Senate Finance Committee considers their own proposal for FAA reauthorization in the coming weeks and months, we urge members to endorse the common-sense approach to modernization that has been put forth by members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“This legislation provides the FAA with historically high funding levels to achieve the goals of air traffic control modernization without a risky ‘user fee’ tax that would devastate small businesses and towns around the country that depend on small aircraft.
“The Alliance also opposes user fees because they require a bureaucracy to collect and impose an unnecessary administrative burden on operators, and because they codify the misguided notion that a jumbo jetliner carrying 300 passengers should be taxed at the same amount as a small aircraft carrying 5 people. The big passenger airlines seek to justify this notion by spreading mistruths, as they have done recently with their new, misleading ad, that they pay for 94% of the air traffic control system, when FAA’s own data shows that they pay 77% of the revenues going into the fund. Not only that, the FAA itself admits that the complex hub-and-spoke system created for the commercial airlines drives the vast majority of air traffic control costs.
“Replacing the current ‘pay at the pump’ system with an inefficient tax that disproportionately targets small businesses and rural communities is not good policy, does nothing to support modernization, and creates a new layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.
“We stand united with businesses, farmers, organizations and individuals across the country in supporting a progressive and fair proposal for FAA reauthorization, which does not target small towns and businesses and works within our current, efficient system of excise taxes.”
Members of the Alliance for Aviation Across America include: the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, whose membership is comprised of 412,000 members nationwide, the National Business Aviation Association, whose membership includes 8,000 members, the National Farmers Union, the League of Rural Voters, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, the National Grange, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the American Corn Growers Association, the Independent Cattlemen of Texas, the Texas Farm Bureau, Air Care Alliance, the National Agricultural Aviation Association, Helicopter Association International, and over 1,200 small and medium-size businesses, charitable organizations, and groups and associations from across the nation. AAAA is dedicated to protecting small and rural communities and to properly modernizing America’s air traffic control system to enhance safety, promote efficiency and expand capacity in order to ensure ALL Americans have access to air transportation.