I know this site is used for parts and help with our aircract, I was
wondering if anyone else has seen this, it was just sent to me by a pilot
who is very intouch with the politics of GAA.




FAA, ATA Agree On User Fees
Now To Stick It To The Rest Of You

The Los Angeles Times is
reporting today that the FAA and the Air Transport Association have
signed an agreement on a user-fee-based system. The paper says that
the agreement was signed in Washington Thursday, and now the
airlines and the FAA will work together to lobby Congress. The ATA
website does not mention the agreement as of this writing, nor does
the FAA's.

Under the agreement, airlines would pay fees for each
takeoff, and for enroute use of the air traffic system. The
fees would be sized produce some $10 billion of the FAA's
over-$14-billion budget; the remainder is envisioned as coming
primarily from user fees on general aviation and on other FAA
activities. The "other activities" are expected to include
significantly increased charges for registration and certification
services, according to FAA documents obtained by Aero-News.

Although the actual contents of this agreement have yet to be
made public, the agreement reportedly protects the airlines from
peak-fee charges, which they were determined to avoid. The Air
Traffic Control system is sized for, and its expenses driven by,
the peak requirements of the airline industry. The need to manage
the hundreds of departures from the nation's twenty busiest
airports, at the same times every morning and evening, is one of
the biggest cost drivers. But the lines have argued for, and
obtained, flat fees. The airlines and FAA are also determined to
make general aviation pay "a fair share." How that is determined
will have a profound impact on the industry.

Many GA operators are
required by regulation to operate in a system that was built and is
operated for the primary convenience of the airlines, and they are
unlikely to quietly accept a new mandate to subsidize those same
airlines. FAA's own forecast doesn't have GA instrument operations
recovering to Year 2000 levels (let alone exceeding them) until
2014 (that's at terminal facilities... it sees the recovery coming
at enroute facilities earlier).

The interests of the FAA and the airlines came together, in that
both were dissatisfied with the old system. FAA says that the old
ticket- tax did not produce a stable revenue source because tickets
are selling for less (yet, FAA revenues actually have recovered,
because load factors are markedly higher). The airlines didn't mind
the ticket tax so much, but wanted out from under the 4.4 cent a
gallon fuel tax, 4.3 cents of which goes to the FAA (the 0.1 goes
to a fund to deal with leaking storage tanks).

The real benefit of user fees for the FAA is that it gives the
FAA scope to unilaterally raise its own revenues; this is good news
if you are a unionized FAA employee. It also creates the need for
an entire new bureaucracy in Washington to collect and manage the
fees.

For the ATA, it creates the possibility of shifting costs by
using its political clout, not to mention damaging Part 135 charter
operators and Part 91 fractionals that have been siphoning off the
lines' highest-margin customers.
FMI: www.airlines.org
(Air Transport Association), www.faa.gov

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