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Why Are Private Jets Being Subsidized By You And Me?

The National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) vocal opposition to modernizing the air traffic control (ATC) system has more to do with preserving the status quo for private jet owners than protecting the interests of the flying public. Many of its corporate members have milked a set of tax loopholes that allow private jet owners to lower their tax burden and pass on the cost of their travel to consumers. ( More...

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Will Hotch 16
The gentleman schilling for the Taxpayer Protection Alliance must have missed the part where the FAA turns over taxpayer-funded system to a private corporation.
bbabis 3
I probably didn't miss a thing. He just chose to ignore anything that didn't fit his agenda.
Kyle Rodgers 16
Wow. I hope everyone can clearly see the incredible amount of propaganda here.
Cool to see you here, anyways it's as if general aviation doesn't exist to the public. It's almost like they think it operates under a different system than commercial aviation, is it too much to ask for to have people aware that we exist?
Kyle Rodgers 3
...or to understand that pilots have to come from somewhere. So crazy to me how uneducated and biased some of these writers can be. And yeah, cool seeing people out in the aviation community.
Looking at my ADSB screen, I don't see Corporate jets using 10% of the resources. There is a lot of envy written into this article, and unjustly so. They server a purpose just as any other part of the aviation community. Totally one-sided.
Roy Hunte 4
Agreed, a typical news reporter story, blown out of proportion.
ToddBaldwin3 9
The key word at the top of the article being Opinion. Unfortunately, his opinion does seem to be a bit on the biased side.
Mike Mohle 5
What? GA aircraft pay fuel tax and that is a very efficient system for tax collection IMO.
An article written with malice and inaccuracies throughout. Unfortunately, there are those who will read it and believe it contains factual information.
scott sewell 3
Funny that the guy who probably flys in one regularly, posts something like this. Must smell big money somewhere. Oh, could it be the privatization of the ATC system?

As a former FAA contractor, it is the safest system in the world, personed by the best ATCs anywhere and it is transitioning to all the technologies mentioned.

Trump that, fool.
tedtimmons 3
No one, including NBAA, opposes modernizing the air traffic control (ATC) system.

Drew Johnson, as a Senior Fellow at the Taxpayer Protection Alliance, is totally motivated to reduce taxes. We are ALL in favor of lower taxes.
I agree with Mr. Johnston's point regarding the business tax loop holes and that is what needs to be fixed.

The only ones who would benefit from privatizing ATC are the already rich insiders that are waiting in the wings to take it over.

ATC is already funded by the users of the system via the aviation fuel tax, passenger transport and use of international air facilities.

Privatization will only make a few already rich people even richer and it will hurt aviation in the long run.
Need more money for modernization? Increase the fuel tax by a penny. Problem solved.
treborselpats 2
The ones who benefit the most from privatization is commercial aviation. ADS-B allows them to create the most efficient routing in order to increase their profits by not allowing the air traffic control system eat into their bottom line. General and corporate aviation accounts for less than 10 percent of the traffic handled with most of the traffic arriving and departing secondary reliever airports with congested traffic areas. Maybe factual information is just not available within the media today....everything reported seems to be biased.
If one wants factual information about General Aviation, or Business Aviation, it is available for the asking. It's obvious the writer had an agenda, and did not want any other information other that what he was paid to present.
ariana suppa 2
Ok after I get my pilots license I'm totally gonna consider getting a small jet.
bdarnell 2
If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of an axe grinding.
Don Johnson 1
Privatization is great if you don't mind paying a $10.00 "navigation" fee each time you fly on a commercial airliner. This is the real/hidden agenda driving the privatization as it is the excuse for the fee. If you don't believe this call me about buying a bridge.
Timothy Annis 1
I guess the author doesn't realize the airlines are getting paid to move people, therefore the fees. General Aviation (GA) that are getting paid to move people are also paying fees, or operating illegally. A vast majority of GA are hobbyists and do pay fees when they buy fuel, maybe not as big a fee but still proportionate.
Dan Grelinger 1
I have an answer! Pick me, pick me!

The answer is, "because your private automobile is being subsidized by me in the exact same way."
mikeenderle 1
Class warfare is such an old and transparent tactic. Unfortunately it still works on the weak minds.
btweston -2
Rich people have been subsidized by everyone else for a long time. That's how we do things here, and it's buoyed by this strange idea that if you let rich people get richer then they'll let you join their club someday.

How else would a walking disaster like Donald Trump get elected?
bbabis -3
Though it may be foreign to liberals, It's not a strange idea at all. Individuals of any sex, creed, or nationality can earn their way into any club they want. No one is "let in." It's called Freedom.
Yeah, growing up poor and black in Mississippi, attending their underfunded public schools, you definitely have the same "freedom" to succeed as the son of Jack Welsh or Bill Gates. If you don't become a success, that's your fault for not "earning your way in".

Try actually visiting some really poor places in this country and then talk about how "free" we are.

The US ranks 13th behind most of Europe, Japan, Canada and New Zealand in social mobility (which measures the chance that you'll do economically better than your parents).

In Canada, you're 2.5 times more likely to do better than your parents did than you are in the US. Maybe we should start calling it the "Canadian dream"?
bbabis -4
I never said it was fair James. One of life's greatest lessons to learn is that it is not fair. If you want fair, go to socialism, there everyone is screwed equally. Don't complain. Do your best with what you got and you move up. Support our administration and remember that a rising tide raises all boats no matter there size.
Larry Toler 2
Just like the little clicks in high school, you have to fight to get that status. Not saying anything is wrong with that. I just have a problem with people who have heads to big for their shoulders.
Articles such as this are typically written on behalf of an entity that has an agenda that needs servicing. I'll bet that the author of this piece was some PR firm, hired by the airlines to promote their vision of Trump's FAA reauthorization bill currently working it's way thru Congress. In order to garner public support, they (the airlines) need to first turn public opinion their way on this issue. The real shame here is that you cannot trace this man's 'opinion' back to whomever paid him for this horribly slanted writing.
James Carlson 4
Actually, it's not too hard. The tail of the article says that he's a Senior Fellow at something called "Taxpayer Protection Alliance." A quick google search turns up:
quadrex 0
This article is so biased I think the author is trolling. If anyone is getting subsidized, look at the airlines. The ATC system exists primarily for them to make profits by safely getting millions of people from Point A to Point B. Not unlike trucking industry using the interstate system to make a profit as well. Corporate & GA are incidental beneficiaries.
Rob Harrison -2
Not a surprise to hear such an anti-capitalist rant from a Newsweek fellow-traveler Of course he fails to mention that virtually every general aviation organization, not just those tax-avoiding, loophole claiming fat cats in their obscenely anti-common-man jets, agrees. Giving the best ATC systemi in the world, which we the people have paid for and own, over to the airlines does not auger well for the traveling public. And it would be an absolute disaster for every pilot, operator, and person who makes his/her living in general aviation.
Anti-capitalist? The article argues for ATC privatization, which was proposed by and is being pushed by Donald Trump. Is he an anti-capitalist too?
tedtimmons 6
To be fair, this isn't a Trump thing. The rich people that are poised to make a lot of money if this goes through, have been trying to get this passed for many, many years under every administration.
It's just that it has a much better chance of passing this time because the Republican leadership is now in charge and they typically do what ever is best for rich people.
thetrain -1
Agenda or not, the main point is that corporate Jets probably underpay tax into the system. I think I can agree with that.

Now as far as all the claptrap about the ATC being the greatest in the world the FAA being a top-flight organization etc, that is a complete crock. The FAA has wasted billions of dollars, had every opportunity to upgrade our systems but botched each and every one; and is the primary source of almost every delay traveling in the air today. The FAA has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they cannot execute this job appropriately, efficiently, or cost-effectively. They've had decades and failed miserably. I am firmly in the Mike Boyd camp on this.

I'm absolutely in favor of competition between private firms to bring the system out of the paper slip age - which should have been done at least 20 years ago by an even semi-competent FAA. The only thing I can say in their defense is it there been several idiot administrators and politicians from both parties directing the FAA's future who haven't helped much.
scott sewell 2
You haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about. The system is responsible for all flight delays? Horse manure. And competition keeps our drug prices low and we have the fastest and cheapest Internet service in the world, right? Super businessmen will solve it all. Baloney.

I have my problems with FAA management and their vision and planning but the system works, is reasonably efficient and is safe (strips and all). Like the TSA and other critical services, I will suffer some bureaucracy in exchange for direct public control. Government is not business and most attempts to make it so fail and sometimes spectacularly.

Mr. Carlson below makes some terrific points about FAA services and the marketplace (or lack thereof). If the FAA needs to be fixed, we can fix it. Hard to go back from handing it over to somebody else.
James Carlson 1
There's no true marketplace here; no plausible way that operators or pilots can select among ATC providers.

Instead, if it is privatized, we will get a single corporation that wins the contract to provide ATC services. That's a monopoly. Any suggestion that we're going to have "competition" magically provide better services for our extremely complicated system is just wishful thinking.

If, as you're charging, the farming out of contracts to external providers hasn't worked so well for NextGen or the other upgrade programs, what would make you think that farming out the contracting capabilities would make anything better?

What we'll actually get is a single corporation with direct financial ties to the airline industry, and little to no incentive to provide services or even listen to GA. We don't get a seat on the board. Is that what we want?
bbabis -6
Great to see how everyone has picked up on how one-sided this article is and the liberal rag that newsweek has become. The companies and individuals that the NBAA represent are in the small group that pays over 80% of the national tax burden so that the large group has the money to pay historically low airline fares.
James Carlson 3
"Liberal rag" is an odd choice of epithet when the magazine chooses to run an opinion piece from an outside writer (not a staff journalist) who is employed by a right-wing (Koch-funded) astroturf "alliance."

"Liberal" must have some new meaning with which I wasn't previously familiar.
Dan Grelinger -1
Are you saying its not liberal? Oh my, it fooled me!
James Carlson 4
I'd say that fooling people was clearly the intent so, well, mission accomplished.


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