In another sign of hard times in the airline industry, the Air Transport Association (ATA) has canceled its inaugural Aviation Leadership Forum, originally planned for March 4 to 6 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. “Given the extremely fragile state of the U.S.
Air Transport Association
As the presidential election enters the home stretch, still looming is the thorny question of reauthorizing FAA funding for the next four years and the even thornier question of user fees.
Although Congress is on its annual summer vacation, the battle over privatization of ATC continued at press time. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) said in a telephone press conference on August 13 that they will fight a proposal in the pending FAA reauthorization bill that would allow privatization of 69 general aviation control towers now staffed by FAA controllers.
The Transportation Department’s plan to manage congestion at New York’s three area airports drew criticism from industry witnesses and members of Congress last month, and the head of the airline lobby once again used the forum to blame business aviation as a “significant contributor” to delays in the Northeast corridor.
As the debate about FAA reauthorization and funding drags on, the lobbying group representing the major airlines continues to blame general aviation for clogging the airways and causing congestion on the ground.
In an e-mail sent by Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO James May to airline customers, the ATA cites the heavy influx of business jets to the Kentucky Derby on May 3 as an example of how “private jets clogged the airways” and “paid barely anything to use or modernize our nation’s air traffic control system.” Although May and the ATA offer no evidence that the jets flying to Kentucky caused any airline delays or that they didn’t
National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) president Patrick Forrey raised more than a few eyebrows in a recent speech at the Washington Aero Club, calling on Congress to order an immediate, comprehensive evaluation of the NextGen ATC system before any more funds are expended.
During a House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing last month, Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO James May claimed that airline jets are five to six times more fuel efficient than corporate jets. “Carrying 200 people and cargo across the country in a single airplane burns a lot less fuel than 33 separate corporate jets, each flying six people,” May testified. He added that U.S.
Air Transport Association (ATA) president and CEO James May used a hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming last month as a bully pulpit to bash corporate jets and promote the airlines’ tax agenda.
The Transportation Department’s inspector general issued a report last month that contradicts general aviation’s claim that GA operators are only marginal airspace users. However, the report did support the assertion that GA user groups tend to avoid the large primary metropolitan airports.