Private Bonds Could Raise Funds For FAA

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A proposal under discussion in the Bush White House would allow the FAA to issue bonds that it would pay back by charging user fees, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. Administration officials have been consulting Wall Street investment banks for advice on how to proceed with the bond sales, the WSJ said. Such bonds "would be well-received by the investment community and certainly a viable option for the FAA," Michael Lexton, a senior managing director at Bear Stearns Cos. and an adviser to the FAA, told the WSJ. It's expected that the administration will approach Congress with its proposal this spring. The proposal may be a hard sell in Congress, since it would diminish legislative control over finances. GA lobbies are also lined up against it, but there is some support. Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens told the WSJ that the FAA needs money to upgrade its technology, and issuing bonds would be one way to raise capital.