Friday, August 31, 2007

Check Out Business Week!

Check the cover story of this week’s Business Week, it makes great points about the problems with the airlines, the FAA and the real reason for delays; despite its wrongful assessment of user fees.

“To see how these groups paralyze the FAA, consider the fate of some far-reaching reform proposals that would help solve the congestion problem. One of the big reasons flying is so miserable is because airlines schedule more flights at desirable times than airports can handle—much as they sell seats to more passengers than their planes can hold. On a typical Tuesday morning in August at New York's John F. Kennedy International, the airport has enough capacity for around 44 departures between 8 and 9 a.m. But airlines schedule 57, guaranteeing delays, even under perfect conditions.

“The carriers are well aware that their commitments to travelers are often impossible to keep, but they make them anyway because they like to give passengers what they want. And everyone prefers to fly in the morning or early evening so they can get in a day of work or play on the day they fly. "We don't schedule flights at one o'clock in the morning because people don't want to travel at that time," says Peter McDonald, chief operating officer of UAL Corp (UAUA).”

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Same old, same old...

The big airline executives and their lobbying organization, the Air Transport Association, have spent the last several months engaging in a campaign of mistruths and deception to sell Congress on a risky new user fee scheme that would shift their tax burden onto general aviation aircraft.

As it turns out, the airlines tried the same trick in 1997. Then, however, they were blaming the low-cost carriers:

  • 1997: “We've carried them [low-cost carriers] for several decades now.” Tim Doke, spokesman for American Airlines.
  • 2007: “Unfortunately, what we have today is a… lopsided funding system where one group of users… subsidizes another user group – corporate jets.” James May, Air Transport Association.

Read on to see how the airlines' attempt to get another tax break is just more of the same old, same old. Click here for the full story!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Labor Day Delays

With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, many Americans will be heading out of town. Unfortunately, while the weekend promises to be wonderful and relaxing, getting to your destination is sure to be the opposite. Those driving may be stuck in beach traffic and those flying will be stuck in an all together different sort of mess.

In an effort to squeeze as much money as possible out of the flying public this weekend, the airlines will over-schedule and over-book well beyond capacity. And passengers so looking forward to their vacation will have to sit in a tarmac traffic jam, until, hopefully not too long after the scheduled departure time, the plane finally takes off.

It’s a shame that vacations are disrupted, delayed and otherwise inconvenienced because airline CEOs are more interested in their own pocketbooks than the best interest of their customers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Blame Game - Labor Day Travel Problems

Millions of folks will be traveling this Labor Day weekend, and more than a few of us will face flight delays and cancellations. As we've seen all too often lately, the airlines and their CEOs will blame anything and everything for their problems. Take a look at our handy checklist and try to guess what they'll point the finger at next...

Click here to download your own copy of the checklist!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Welcome to the Alliance for Aviation Across America’s blog. The purpose of our blog is to inform you, the reader, about issues concerning businesses and communities around the country that depend on small aircraft.

The Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) is diverse coalition of over 3500 aviation professionals, local airports, rural and agricultural organizations, city, county and state officials, charitable organizations, small and mid-size businesses and others dedicated to protecting small and rural communities. The AAAA dedicated to properly modernizing America’s air traffic control system to enhance safety, promote efficiency and expand capacity in order to ensure ALL Americans have access to air transportation.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The ATA and User Fees

The Air Transport Association, the lobbying organization representing the major airlines, today attempted to repackage and reintroduce for the second time their latest tax cut scheme as the House Ways and Means Committee’s Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee considered FAA reauthorization. The airlines unveiled their plan with less than 22 legislative days left before funding for FAA expires.

ATA’s proposal was originally presented in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure hearing by a representative of one of the major commercial airlines on July 24th. The plan would radically overhaul the current funding structure in favor of a new ticket tax formula that would provide a huge tax break for the airlines. Specifically, the airlines’ plan would implement a new departure tax for airline passengers, and a new tax structure for ticket taxes that is based on the number of miles flown on a trip. The most egregious provision in the plan is the exception built into the proposal for flights of less than 250 miles, which would include some of the airlines’ most profitable and congested routes. In fact, 25% of the top 12 busiest routes in the country would be tax exempt under the airlines’ proposal, creating a significant loss of revenue for air traffic modernization.

James May, President of the ATA, again disingenuously justified this exemption today by saying it would help small communities. Not only is it clear that no one but the airlines would benefit from this exemption, but as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has testified to Congress, when the airlines receive a tax break, savings are never passed onto airline customers. In fact, as the last two GAO studies have concluded, when the commercial airlines have received tax breaks in the past, the airlines have kept their fares the same or raised them.

We at The Alliance For Aviation Across America (AAAA) and leading charitable organizations, general aviation groups, and businesses around the country have supported HR 2881, which was recently passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and represents a common sense approach to FAA reauthorization that would dramatically increase modernization funding, while retaining the current, simple, easy to use excise tax system. The sponsors of HR 2881 from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee testified today before the Ways and Means Committee against overhauling the current, efficient fuel tax system in favor of user fees.

By contrast, S. 1300, which recently passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee, would create a new and onerous “user fee” tax. Also proposed was an elimination the $.043 per gallon fuel tax the big airlines currently pay, while general aviation would be faced with a more than doubling of the fuel tax – meaning that the commercial airlines would net out with a huge tax giveaway that is directly shouldered by general aviation.

We recently reached over 3,400 members, including aviation professionals, local airports, rural and agriculture groups, city, county and state officials, and small and mid-size businesses dedicated to protecting small and rural communities by fighting against any overhaul of the current, fuel tax system in favor of new taxes and fees. Members of the Alliance for Aviation Across America include: the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, whose membership is comprised of 412,000 members nationwide, the National Business Aviation Association, whose membership includes 8,000 members, the National Farmers Union, the League of Rural Voters, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, the National Grange, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the American Corn Growers Association, the Independent Cattlemen of Texas, the Texas Farm Bureau, Air Care Alliance, the National Agricultural Aviation Association, Helicopter Association International, and over 1,200 small and medium-size businesses, charitable organizations, and groups and associations from across the nation.