The Air Transport Association has commented enthusiastically on the proposed
Rockefeller-Lott FAA reauthorization bill.ATA’s primary goal in the reauthorization process has been
to ensure a transformation to a modernized air traffic control (ATC)
system supported by a stable and fair financing mechanism. The
Rockefeller-Lott proposal is a good move toward accomplishing this goal.
The bill is consistent with the ATA’s reauthorization principles in many
* The $25 modernization surcharge recognizes that aircraft with
similar operating characteristics drive similar costs - and must be
expected to contribute fairly to needed system modernization.
* The transition to a modernized ATC system will also be helped by
the creative financing authority given to the Department of
* Another important aspect of this legislation is its rejection of
efforts to RAISE the tax burden on passengers through increases in
passenger facility charges.
* Importantly, the proposal also recognizes that with a
next-generation ATC system, costs can be reduced and efficiencies gained
by realigning and streamlining services and facilities while improving
* By strengthening the current oversight board to give it
meaningful authority over the direction of modernization, the authors of
the proposed bill have recognized that all industry users need to be
engaged in the process of determining how the new system should
function. We believe the proposal could be improved by increasing
carrier representation to reflect proportion of use and payment into the
ATA carriers realize that the important decisions of determining an
equitable cost-and use-based tax to support the current system is a
critical next step, which will be determined by the Finance Committee,
on which Sens. Rockefeller and Lott are senior members.
“While there are more than four months remaining before the expiration
of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, the Rockefeller-Lott proposal
reaffirms the absolute need for a modern, fair and dependable funding
stream to respond to the growing demand for air transportation,” said
ATA President and CEO James C. May.