FAA Funding Alternatives On The Table

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The DOT OIG memo gives some insight into the ideas being explored for renovating the FAA's funding structure. "Measures under consideration include charging for aircraft departures, passenger emplanements, aircraft weight, flight distance and time-in-system," the memo reads. "FAA is also exploring the feasibility of cost-based user fees." Among the items on the agenda for the OIG auditors, which will be of great interest to business aviation folks, is an assessment of whether jet fuel consumption makes a good basis for estimating cost to the FAA for air traffic services. DOT OIG representatives met with FAA officials in September to discuss the enormity of the audit. In addition to the jet fuel analysis, the OIG has set as its goals for the audit to determine who uses the different elements of the NAS throughout a typical day, whether these users can be grouped in a meaningful manner based on system use and how each group's use of the system contributes to the FAA's costs. There's no indication of how long the audit might take.