Sunday, June 17, 2007

Blakey plays the
“gridlock” card.


If you believe what FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is saying about the future of our air traffic control system, the skies will soon grow dark from the shadows of all those VLJs and business jets. Here her current talking point:
"If we're unable to have a financing reform bill in place by September 30, when the current set of taxes expire, the delays and the missed connections and the headlines are only going to get worse -- much worse. Without a reliable funding stream, the NextGen program will start to slow down, and when the bow wave of delays hits, it'll be too late."
So the current funding stream is UNRELIABLE? That is complete BS, and everyone knows it:
AOPA: The current combination of fuel taxes and general fund contributions is perfectly adequate to continue building on a $2 billion-plus surplus in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and to finance modernization of the nation's air traffic control system — and do it fairly, without sacrificing safety, impeding air traffic, or ceding an element of control to airline interests.

NBAA: “The changes proposed by the FAA would overthrow a funding structure that has proven to be stable, reliable and efficient for several decades,” Bolen added. “Revenues going into the Airport and Airways Trust Fund are at record levels, and no less an authority than the Congressional Budget Office has said that the FAA will continue to have sufficient funds to fully support the transition to the Next Generation Air Traffic System. The fact is, the FAA’s scheme promotes radical changes in order to provide a giveaway to the big airlines.
Like I've said before, this user fee scam is the Katrinization of our FAA funding system. Take a good program and ruin it, all in the name of financial gain for a few key cronies at the very top of the airline management food chain.

Heckuva job, Blakey.