Pro-user-fee Rhetoric Gets New Voices
User fees remain a fiery issue, despite a congressional recess the past two weeks during which no official business has been conducted on the proposal. For his part, longtime user-fee advocate Robert Poole wrote in the Reason Foundation’s “ATC Reform News” that the FAA’s proposal asks GA only to cover marginal costs and “not a pro-rata share of fixed and common costs.” Also on the FAA and airline side this week was a piece couched as news by AP writer Bob Porterfield. Leaving no doubt as to his position, Porterfield wrote, “The federal government has taken billions of dollars from the taxes and fees paid by airline passengers every time they fly and awarded it to small airports used mainly by private pilots and globetrotting corporate executives.” The AP writer also quoted Poole as saying of general aviation, “They’re making out like bandits. It’s not only that airline passengers are paying more than their fair share, but they’re being overtaxed to give private jets a free ride.” NBAA issued a swift response, emphasizing that local airports help more than just the corporate operators.