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Airline Passenger Subsidies Of General Aviation

Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:11 pm

That CNN article just makes me angry. As a general aviation pilot I'm dismayed at the FAA's poor money management and eager willingness to pass the blame to general aviation. How the hell do small fields get away with using millions of dollars of Federal Homeland Security money when they see no passenger service? I suppose this has much to do with the inane paranoia (both government and public) surrounding general aviation in the days and weeks after 9-11. It seems to me that small general aviation fields, like small towns are very aware of newcomers and strangers, unlike ORD, LAX, JFK, or ATL. I suppose sometimes a close knit family is better security than a $500,000 X-ray machine.

Certainly, corporations will find ways and loopholes to have their jets avoid user fees, but I see only people who own or rent light props carrying most of the burden of this new proposal. Certainly when the FAA grounds most light prop owners with high costs or has people making dangerous visual flights in an effort to avoid IFR approach fees they will sooner or later reap what they sewed in this cosmic mess.

I think this is an issue that hits home on this site, because airlines, in lieu of disastrously poor levels of service over the past 6 years and record losses are trying once again to nickel and dime the very services in which they depend on and pass the bill along to the guy that can least afford it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but all commercial airline flights fly IFR (one thing that the CNN article fails to present) and as we all know, IFR has very stringent limitations on clearances and spacing which take their toll in severe delays and cancellations at airline hubs during wide spread IMC.

Furthermore, flight training, which is already impossibly expensive would become even more expensive through user fees. I think if the FAA starts charging for flight plans, ATC services, etc. you will see less and less students practicing flying actual flight plans, approaches, etc. let alone using ATC services if not required (but certainly necessary for safety). I think you'd probably see less and less private flight school students period. I guess starting pay ain't going up at the regionals with all the money the airlines will be saving by passing the buck. I feel that the only reason why there are only a handful of actual pilots in this country is because the cost of training is extremely inhibiting as it is... not because of any lack of interest.

I feel that if there are going to be user fees, it's only fair that everyone pay higher taxes on fuel and for usage of ATC service, not just general aviation. So certainly the more ATC resources you use, the more you pay.

Surely if I'm wrong in my assessment please point it out.

Ok I've said my piece.
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RE: Airline Passenger Subsidies Of General Aviation

Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:21 pm

There's one BIG loophole in how the airlines present their case:

"We don't want it to be OUR money" (emphasis mine).

It isn't their money. The passenger pays for it directly.
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RE: Airline Passenger Subsidies Of General Aviation

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:28 am

So.. small airports received 6% of the $104 Billion over the last 10 years.. and they're 'making off like bandits'?

This is just another salvo in the FAA/Airlines attempts to get GA to pay more into the system when they already pay their fair share.
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RE: Airline Passenger Subsidies Of General Aviation

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:35 am

Quoting Flybyguy (Thread starter):
I'm dismayed at the FAA's poor money management and eager willingness to pass the blame to general aviation.

Unfortunately, it is a political game at this point. Why? Because big money is involved -- this is an issue that is being pushed by the majors. And recent years that have seen them bleeding red all over the place -- with the purported prospect of thousands of airline workers being tossed onto the street for lack of a job -- is playing well to the majors' advantage. Politicians being what they are -- feeble self-serving cowards -- are just letting this issue go too far down the wire when it should have been dealt with properly years ago.
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RE: Airline Passenger Subsidies Of General Aviatio

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:37 am

Also being discussed in: Should Travelers Pay For General Aviation? (by MaverickM11 Apr 17 2007 in Civil Aviation)

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