FAA ACTING ADMINISTRATOR’S CITE OF NEXT GEN’S SAFETY BENEFITS FUELS DEBATE ON USER FEE AT AirVENTURE ®

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ARTICLE: ACTING FAA CHIEF: REALIZING NEXTGEN BENEFITS A PRIORITY

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Acting FAA Administrator Huerta, speaking at EAA’s AirVenture ®, revealed an incredibly compelling statistic supporting the swift implementation of Next Gen. He said that ADS-B equipped aircraft are involved in 47% FEWER accidents according to the FAA’s data analysis. He pointed out that with increased numbers of the ground stations needed to facilitate ADS-B capabilities, both airline and GA aircraft will be de-conflicted.

The presentation did not stop at the technology, though. Some “shy” EAA pilot asked the Administrator about President Obama’s $100 per flight user fee for turbine aircraft using ATC services. In response, Mr. Huerta said that the President was “trying to start a conversation about how can we reduce the reliance on the general fund”- an obvious admission that the Congress has twice rejected that concept. The AOPA story reminds all that the ATC system today is primarily funded by a tax on fuel sales, a methodology which easily and accurately replicates the aircraft time in flight within the ATC system.

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