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DOT Secretary Stumps For Aviation User Fees

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The FAA needs to build a modern airspace infrastructure, and 2007 will be a critical year in building a new financing system to support it, Mary Peters, the new Department of Transportation Secretary, told the Aero Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. "I know that user fees and who pays are big concerns for many of you," she said, "but we must not lose sight of the broader issues at stake We are talking about a fundamental redesign of the entire air transportation system." To finance that effort, the FAA needs a new funding mechanism, she said, and there must be incentives in place to make the system "more efficient as well as more responsive to user needs." Peters said she expects to release a detailed funding proposal soon. The looming expiration on Sept. 30 of the FAA's current aviation trust fund mechanism offers "a once-in-a-decade opportunity to rewrite the book," she said. "This is our one chance to get it right."

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