...EAA Raps Fees For Volunteer Inspectors

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New fees recommended by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) could decimate the ranks of FAA designees who "volunteer their service for the betterment of recreational aviation," according to EAA. A couple of weeks ago, the GAO suggested the FAA improve oversight of safety and certification programs and pay for it by charging application and registration fees to the non-FAA people who do most of that work. But EAA's Earl Lawrence claims many of those who inspect recreational aircraft and conduct flight exams do so voluntarily and they're already saving the FAA millions of dollars in the process. The designee program was initiated because the agency doesn't have the staff and resources to get all the work done itself. "There is no better way to dry up a pool of people willing to devote time to help aviation than to begin charging them for their willingness to serve," said Lawrence. The fees are a long way from reality, however. It would take congressional legislation, something EAA and virtually every other alphabet group would surely fight.