Tennessee Officials Discuss User Fees

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While the debate over the FAA’s future funding process is big news in aviation circles, it barely registers in the mainstream media but there are occasional exceptions. The Kingsport Times-News in Tennessee saw some news value in a presentation given by Don Carter, owner of Tri-Cities Aviation, to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport Commission last week in which he predicted the user-fee plan currently being promoted by the FAA will “kill” general aviation in the area. Carter suggested the funding formula is calculated to reduce the number of GA operations to make room for more airline flights. "The more general aviation they can get out, the more airline slots they will get." Patrick Wilson, the executive director of the airport commission, also characterized the debate as a conflict between airlines and GA. Although there was some animated discussion about the issue, there’s no indication from the Times-News story that the commission intends to do anything about it.