GA Reaction To White House Budget: Fast And Negative

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Marching directly behind the parade of President Bush's budget proposal last week, GA user groups have formed their own. For starters, this from AOPA: "Congress must not allow this to happen," said President Phil Boyer. "The White House is proposing to cut nearly $1 billion from the Airport Improvement Program in 2007 ... [and] almost all of that would come from monies earmarked for GA airports." EAA agreed: The budget takes money away from airports and uses it to fund general operations, "instead of making the hard decisions on the real problem: out-of-control spending," said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. But it wasn't all bad. AOPA did find one bright spot in the proposal: "If there is any good news for GA in this budget, it is proposed funding for new technologies that will support the Next Generation Air Transportation System," said Boyer. The budget proposal provides $122.4 million to improve and expand the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and $80 million to support ADS-B. The presidential proposal is just the starting point in the budget process. Next comes months of wrangling on Capitol Hill before anything is final.