Friday, September 14, 2007
The current system of aviation taxes and fees that fund the operations of the FAA, including oversight of the nation's aviation system, will expire on September 30. In addition, most related federal aviation programs will also expire at this time. As a result, Congress is currently in the process of crafting legislation to reauthorize these programs for an additional ten years.
The reauthorization process comes at a critical time – our nation's aviation infrastructure is aging rapidly, employs outdated technology, and is increasingly incapable of meeting the transportation and safety needs of the growing number of air travelers. We need to modernize the system now. We also must ensure that the cost of modernization is fairly distributed among all the users of the system, including commercial carriers, business aviation, cargo jets, independent users, and passengers.
In the Senate, FAA reauthorization falls under the jurisdiction of two Committees: the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Finance Committee, of which I am a member. The Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the taxes and fees that fund the system, has held two hearings on this matter, and is likely to formally consider reauthorization legislation in September.
Please be assured that I remain committed to creating a system that meets our nation's future aviation needs and that distributes costs equitably, and that I will keep your thoughts in mind as FAA reauthorization legislation makes its way through both the Finance Committee and the full Senate.
Again, thank you for contacting me.
United States Senator
Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.