Aviation User Fees; Defeating Them is Still in Your Hands

By Robert Mark on September 19th, 2007

Those Aviation Alliance Across America folks are at it again.

They seem to think that industry types will take time out of their valuable day just to pick up the phone and punch in 866-908-5898 and be automatically connected to their members of Congress. I did and spoke to the folks in the office of Senators Dick Durbin and Barrack Obama and Representative Jan Shakowsky. That’s when I told their staffers that this week’s vote on aviation industry funding is crucial.

But those crazy Aviation Alliance folks honestly think people in the industry care enough to tell their members of Congress that they support the rebuilding of the nation’s air traffic control system and that they want to pay for it the same way we all pay for everything else in the system … through good old fuel taxes, a process that has kept the Aviation Trust Fund in the black for decades.

Next I suppose the Alliance people are hoping I told the Senators that the $25 user fee that’s making the rounds on the Senate floor will cost more than 25 bucks to collect through some new TSA-like bureaucracy.

Personally, I think that as we turn our sights toward Atlanta and the upcoming NBAA convention next week, way more people are going to be watching the Air Transport Association’s ridiculous Aunt Edna shows hoping someone else does the work for them. I wonder if the ATA find’s Kate Hanni’s perspective and her Coalition for an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights as awe-inspiring as Edna’s?

But hey, I might be wrong.

Maybe you will call your representatives and tell them you think the fuel-tax system works just fine. Tell them that even the outgoing FAA administrator said the airlines have created their own traffic mess at hub airports. And then tell them it’s time to give Aunt Edna the facts, that we all want to see a new ATC system built. But we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot to do it.

Go ahead. I dare you to call 866-908-5898 right now and voice your vote.

I promise I won’t tell your boss.

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