DOT Secretary Peters: Change Is In The Air

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Mary Peters, recently appointed as head of the U.S. Department of Transportation, says traffic is up, air traffic controllers are retiring and safety equipment needs to be upgraded -- all of that costs money, and it will have to come from somewhere. Peters toured the GA world of Wichita, Kan., on Monday, and said she would "listen to everyone." Since the legislation that determines where the FAA's money comes from is up for reauthorization next year, the debate over user fees versus other funding measures is pressing. "We must rethink the aviation financing system," she said, and asked for all segments of the industry to weigh in. She stopped at a Cessna aircraft assembly plant and visited a nearby FAA control tower at Olathe. Peters called on aviation leaders to suggest improvements to the current system: "We must be open-minded as we tackle the tough issues before us. Ultimately, the ideas are going to come from assembly lines, break rooms and work stations here in Kansas and across the nation."