Report Calls For More Aviation Funding

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Aviation is not only an important part of the U.S. economy, it's critical to the growth of the economy as whole, according to a new report released last week by the FAA's Management Advisory Council. "Part of the productivity of virtually every sector of the U.S. economy depends on the productivity of aviation," the report says. The report calls on the White House and Congress for more funding, no new aviation taxes, faster hiring of new air traffic controllers and more investment in ATC modernization. As for the FAA, it needs to streamline -- cutting its current nine administrative regions down to three, contracting out all of its VFR control towers, and consolidating TRACONs, the report says. Under the FAA's current 10-year plan, congestion and delays will continue to worsen, the report says, adversely affecting the productivity of virtually every U.S. company. The nine-member Management Advisory Council is made up of industry representatives and advises the FAA on policy, budget and regulations. Council members are appointed by Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta. They serve in a volunteer capacity for three years, and retain their private sector positions. The council was created by the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996, and meets quarterly.