Changes In Funding Are Coming
Blakey said she's determined to change the way the FAA is funded once the current structure expires in 2007. However, she expects that a contribution from the General Fund and continued oversight by Congress will be part of any new plan. She also tried to reassure the crowd that whatever plans and proposals eventually emerge, "We do not want to in any way stifle the general aviation community." The current airspace system needs an overhaul, she said, because it's simply not capable of handling the projected increase in airplanes and traffic. "We have to transform the system," she said, with new technology and efficient infrastructure, to ensure that it will continue to be safe and meet the needs of all users. Those changes will have to be funded somehow, and she said that every group will have to "pay its share of costs." The full text of Blakey's talk is posted online at the FAA Web site.