NATA: A Broader Look At FAA Reauthorization
National Air Transportation Association President Jim Coyne spoke candidly about the FAA's proposed reauthorization bill at a regulatory and legislative panel on Wednesday afternoon at the Aviation Industry Expo in Orlando, Fla. "It would be a misnomer to just call it a user fee-fight," he noted. "The broader context is the FAA reauthorization, which happens every four or five years, and the trust fund reauthorization, which occurs about every 10 years." Both reauthorizations are aligned this year, and Coyne said the White House planned to take advantage of this situation to push forward its user-fee agenda. However, last fall congressional control shifted to the Democrats, "who don't have any interest in doing any favors for the Republicans," according to Coyne. While it appears the White House won't be able to jam through the FAA reauthorization in its current form, "the airlines still want to shift taxes to general aviation's shoulders." NATA's take, he said, "is that it's not right to grow one segment of aviation at the expense of another." Coyne believes that a 50-cent fuel tax increase would kill GA, while an eight or nine-cent increase would have "no impact."