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Executive Summary
Statement of
Edward J. Driscoll
before the
National Civil Aviation Review Commission
May 28, 1997

The National Air Carrier Association (NACA) is grateful for the opportunity to present its views to the Commission concerning its daunting task of recommending future funding schemes for the Federal Aviation Administration.

I am sure the Commission will agree with us that the U.S. has the finest civil aviation safety record in the world. We trust that the Commission is going to ensure that this fine system continues through the year 2002 and beyond.

NACA and its member carriers are proud of the role we have played in the safety record of the United States. Our group of carriers has an enviable record of performance--no fatalities within an extended period of years. We represent smaller carriers which for a long period of time only provided charter service. NACA’s member carriers have since graduated into scheduled service and are now providing a mix of scheduled and charter services throughout the world. Our carriers are also the commercial backbone of the U.S. military in peacetime and war through their commitment to the Civil Reserve Air Fleet.

NACA is a member of the Alliance for Safe and Efficient Air Transportation, and we strongly encourage this Commission to continue excise taxes as the principal means of funding the FAA, with some continuing reasonable contribution from the General Fund.

We believe the excise tax system encourages cost competition and the lowest fares for the traveling public. It has broadened the base of air transportation, thus generating additional tax revenues to fund system improvements.

This would not be the case under the user-fee system proposed by seven major U.S. carriers. Their system would shift the brunt of the taxation system to the low-fare passengers traveling on low-fare carriers, thus reducing the taxable base of our air transportation system.

We ask you to focus on these differences and produce a financial structure for the FAA that assures that it will continue to be an outstanding agency in the future and, low-fare service will be preserved.