August 30th, 2007

airplane

user fees

I've been hearing about user fees for general aviation on the RADIO lately, meaning that the issue is mainstream now I guess? I work on airplanes so I've been hearing about this for years. Basically, the FAA is looking for ways to make more money, so they've started telling airline passengers that general aviation isn't paying its "fair share". They paint a picture of the big CEO in his corporate jet laughing at the rows of passengers in coach, using the service of hapless air traffic controllers and paying nothing for it.

spacefem's quick shot analysis:
- The FAA is like every other government entity... it doesn't need more money, it needs to GET SMALLER, it's annoying as it is. I can't go into details, but it super annoys me in annoying ways.

- Airlines need to work out methods to avoid peak airports in high traffic times... they lurve the hub-spoke system like crazy right now, and THAT'S usually why your flight gets delayed.

- ADS-B, the system that will help a lot with the air traffic control challenges, is cool, but the FAA shouldn't have to ask us to pay for it. When my company's goods get old and outdated, we don't run to our customers asking more money for the airplanes they already bought... we find out how to budget for new products. SHOCKING.

I'm not going to outline all the issues... if you want to learn more, the aopa has a good stance on the issue, and the eaa has a good site too. Just don't let the government feed you information on why it needs more money, and it has to take it from general aviation... GA is not evil, it's cool and independent, very Firefly! m'kay?

and yes, I'm letting my big company influence my opinion a little bit. but I wouldn't be talking about this issue if I hadn't already heard the other side on the radio today... it's looking very clearly like the population is only going to hear one side of this issue.