Darren Goode reports on Government Executive.com that House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., predicted last Wednesday that a multiyear FAA authorization bill will be signed into law by July 4.
Quoting Rep. Oberstar “I think we’ve made enough progress and we ought to be able to get it done by then,” he said. “We are working toward that goal. We’ll get there, we’ll do it.”
For the complete article:
In its present form all of the associations that represent the various general aviation constituencies, including NBAA and NATA are for the authorization bill.
There is a provision in the bill on the house side that makes it easier for FedEx workers to Unionize. Obviously FedEx management opposes this provision and has fought it all along the way. It was taken out of the Senate version thanks to the help of our Tennessee Senators.
I have said this before, and will say it again. I do not understand why the provision dealing with FedEx has to be in a bill that funds the FAA and should be dealing with the entire aviation system. It seems to me that lawmakers like loading up these bills with provisions that take care of their key constituencies, which in this case for House Dems would be the Unions. There doesn’t seem to be any rational correlation between funding the FAA and FedEx unionizing?
OK, Back to the FAA Bill:
It will be good for the FAA to finally have a funding authorization that is more than 3 months or a year. They have been on the short string for three years now. Hopefully the FAA can take this and do something positive with the NextGen Air Traffic Control System.
On the GA side, we will pay more fuel taxes but most people think that is not a bad price to pay in return for no user fees. I tend to agree. Once a new type of tax sneaks in it never seems to go away and the old tax never goes away either. At least we in the FBO and charter business understand how to collect and pay the fuel tax. It is an efficient way of funding our aviation infrastructure system. User fees in other countries around the world have proven to be a nightmare for operators to handle from an administrative and accounting standpoint.
We should expect some inefficiency in how the money is spent, because after all it is big government and there is no disincentive for inefficient spending. Hopefully if the FAA throws enough money at it we will eventually get a NextGen system that can effectively increase the flow of traffic through our airways and make the system more time efficient and save fuel.