2007 Press Releases

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NBAA's Bolen Promotes Aviation System Modernization Through Proven Funding Methods

Future Too Important to Trust to Radical Funding Schemes, Bolen Says

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or dhubbard@nbaa.org

WASHINGTON, DC, March 15, 2007 – Representing the general aviation community at a forum hosted today by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen underscored the industry's long-standing commitment to aviation system modernization, and touted the effectiveness of proven funding streams.

A new FAA funding proposal pushed by the big airlines would abandon the current, ultra-efficient funding system for one based on new user fees and massive tax hikes. The proposal was introduced as part of the FAA's "reauthorization," or funding, bill.

"Expanding aviation system capacity is absolutely essential for the future, and the general aviation community has been leading that effort," Bolen said. He cited several examples, including:
  • A significant investment by operators of business aircraft to install advanced altimetry technology ("RVSM") that effectively doubled the nation's en-route capacity.

  • The general aviation industry's push for an Alaskan project demonstrating automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) technology. ADS-B is expected to be the cornerstone of the next generation air traffic system.

  • Continuing investments in a broad range of communication, navigation, and aircraft detection capabilities - including glass panel cockpits, terrain avoidance technology and severe weather detection equipment - all of which enhance both efficiency and safety of aviation system use.

"Clearly, system transformation has been underway for some time," Bolen continued. "Moreover, the current funding system will allow this transformation not just to continue but to accelerate."

Last October, a representative from the Congressional Budget Office appeared to agree, telling a House Subcommittee that the FAA will continue to have sufficient funds to fully support a transition to the Next Generation Air Traffic System.

"The big airlines' FAA proposal is not a modernization plan; rather it is a ploy to reduce Congressional oversight and shift taxes," Bolen stated. "We urge Congress to dismiss this scheme and get on with the serious work of expanding our nation's air traffic capacity, so that it can benefit all Americans and remain the world's largest, safest, and most efficient."

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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