NBAA's Bolen Continues Push For Traditional FAA Funding

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National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen stated last week before Congress his belief that proposed FAA modernization and funding plans ignore that the general aviation community has lead the effort in expanding aviation system capacity, modernization and safety through several significant initiatives. Further, he maintains that the current funding system will allow those efforts not only to continue "but to accelerate." The proposal introduced as part of the FAA's reauthorization bill would replace this "ultra-efficient funding system for one based on new user fees and massive tax hikes," according to NBAA. And Bolen says the big airlines' proposal is not a modernization plan, but "a ploy to reduce Congressional oversight and shift taxes." He added that by taking the initiative to install advanced telemetry systems, business aircraft have effectively doubled the nation's en-route capacity through RVSM. Also, ADS-B -- a system expected to be the cornerstone of next-generation air traffic control -- was demonstrated in Alaska through the steady push of the general aviation industry, according to Bolen, and that continuing investments in technology are largely general aviation motivated. In short, Bolen urged Congress to dismiss the new "scheme" and get on with the serious work of expanding the nation's air traffic capacity.