Biased USA Today Article Proves Again
That Traditional Media Hasn't a Clue
“The story is completely devoid of journalistic balance that fails to acknowledge the millions of Americans who benefit from the nation's 5,200 general aviation airports every day,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. AOPA’s media relations staff learned of the story a week before it was published and had a lengthy conversation with the USA Today reporter, but was not included in the article."
"In the first full accounting of the 28-year-old Airport Improvement Program, USA TODAY found that Congress has directed $15 billion to general-aviation airports, which typically are tucked on country roads and industrial byways."
"The [government agencies] have expanded criminal ''strike forces'' that existed under the Bush administration, most recently to Detroit, but also have committed about half a billion dollars to fraud prevention efforts this year. They are working on sharing suspicious billing information with Medicare -- an agency notorious for paying claims fast without verifying them -- to help stop fraud and waste. Experts estimate the huge entitlement program loses at least $60 billion to fraud every year, with Miami-Dade County at the center of the national crisis."
The USA Today article said payments for improvements at GA airports are "the result of an obscure federal program that raises billions of dollars a year through taxes on every airplane ticket sold in the United States. The taxes can add up to 15% to the cost of a flight — or about $29 to a $200 round-trip ticket." But what was left out was that according to AOPA, the Airport Improvement Program or AIP is also funded by fuel taxes that we GA users pay. And in 2007, AOPA said FAA distributed $3.34 billion in airport improvement program funds to 2,610 airports. Of that amount, 389 airline airports divvied up $2,199,335,046 while 1,121 GA airports shared $831,717,227.