AOPA To FAA -- Hands Off GA

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When it's not airspace grabs, it's user-fee threats -- that's AOPA's take on the FAA these days. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey spoke to the Aero Club in Washington, D.C., last Monday, and expressed what is by now a familiar theme -- the Aviation Trust Fund faces imminent doom and a new funding system is essential. "You do the math," she said. "The equation doesn't work." AOPA was quick to respond. "Others have done the math, including the White House's Office of Management and Budget," AOPA said at its Web site. The OMB predicts continued trust fund growth. The FAA's authority to collect aviation ticket and fuel taxes will expire in 2007, and Blakey wants to replace the current funding structure. Also, on Thursday, AOPA reiterated its opposition to a new TFR above Vice President Dick Cheney's new house on the shore of Chesapeake Bay. AOPA says it is bad public policy, it further crowds and complicates already complex airspace, and it is inconsistent with the FAA's regulation on TFRs. The association has requested that the FAA replace it with a NOTAM similar to those issued for nuclear power plants, dams and bridges. The TFR has a radius of 1 nautical mile and extends to 1,500 feet AGL.