The Feb. 3 Business article "FAA Looks for Money for New Air-Traffic Control System" skipped over the devastating impact that user fees would have on the small and medium-size businesses that drive our local economy.

The major airlines are pushing a new air-traffic-control funding formula called user fees, which would potentially heap a tax hike of billions of dollars on local businesses that use small private and charter planes to expand their market reach, bringing much-needed revenue back to our communities. The airlines claim that these businesses aren't paying their fair share, a position that is based on the demonstrably false premise that a plane with four passengers should somehow pay the same taxes as a plane with 400 passengers.

In contrast, the big airlines drive up the costs of the air-traffic-control system with their incredibly congested hub-and-spoke design. But the "user fees" proposal would give them a tax break, turning common sense on its head.

My company, AeroSolutions, is constantly struggling to keep operating costs low to better serve the general aviation community. But moving to user fees would increase costs to this private sector of aviation and diminish the opportunity for expansion, thereby cutting off an economic lifeline for our local economy.


Managing Partner, AeroSolutions Group