September 2013 Issue

Of Camels And Tents

hile I don’t like to pay more for flying than I currently do, nor do I want see the U.S. kill general aviation through predatory user fees like in Europe and elsewhere, we need to be more open-minded about user fees. And I would like to provide a differing perspective to user fees, specifically regarding the FAA’s incremental ATC costs to support the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) AirVenture. A few years ago, the FAA paid millions of dollars for a great-looking control tower at OSH—was it really needed? Let’s agree it was a good investment of public funds to support the one week of AirVenture. Most of the year, the traffic count at OSH is very low and the old tower did just fine. And let’s consider that cost as part of ATC infrastructure costs. That is why I’m focusing on incremental costs, not total costs.

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