Alphabets On DOT Nominee
Within hours, AOPA, NBAA, EAA, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) had issued statements reacting to the announcement. Their main concern -- what will be Peters' position on user fees for GA? AOPA said the nominee would pose both an "opportunity and [a] challenge." Her position on user fees is far from clear. In the past, she has advocated for collecting highway tolls to upgrade the road system. "That's because the highway trust fund is going to go broke. The aviation trust fund isn't," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. He added that, "While I don't yet know her personally, Mary Peters has a reputation for honesty, integrity, and a willingness to listen and understand all sides of an issue ... AOPA fully intends to take every opportunity to take advantage of her good listening skills to explain why user fees would be harmful to the world's best aviation system." Peters understands that different transportation modes need to be treated differently, and some users taxed at a different rate than others, an unnamed Washington insider told AOPA. She is also credited with being careful with spending the public's money. The new Secretary of Transportation will be the president's point person in the FAA funding debate, and the critical "go-between" for Congress, the White House, and the general public on the user-fee issue.