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Executive Summary
A Presentation to the
National Civil Aviation Review Commission

- NASAO represents the state government aviation agencies serving the public interest in all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.

- The states are committed to serving the entire air transportation system and all facets of aviation.

- All Americans, whether they personally travel by air or not, reap the benefits generated by aviation and it is one of the most important engines driving the national economy. NASAO believes there must be a federal commitment to the national system. Currently, only about 25% of the cost of the national system is borne by the general fund. That funding must be maintained.

- For many years, the aviation funding system has worked well on the collection side of the equation but very poorly on the delivery side. FAA and the national air transportation system require an adequate, predictable and steady stream of funding.

- The overall aviation excise tax system is, in reality, a set of user fees. The excise tax system may be modified, but should be kept in place.

- The current aviation fuel tax is an elegantly simple and efficient "user fee". It avoids the messy, inefficient and paperwork plagued user fees established in other nations.

- It is premature to discuss the "privatization" of the air traffic control system. The U.S. system is recognized as the best in the world. The U.S. is historically, politically and culturally different from its neighbors. Privatized systems are not the answer to any perceived deficiencies in ours.

- NASAO members already invest approximately $500 million in the system. The states are full partners with FAA in maintaining and developing the system. The states are unable to assume responsibility for any more unfunded but essential programs.

- If AIP is cut to $1 billion, those airports which received AIP funds through state apportionment this year, face a 50% decline in funding next year. If AIP is cut to $1 billion only the highest priority projects will be funded and there will be severe cuts at all but the largest airports. The Commission is urged to mandate the AIP level which permits improvements at airports, rather than hasten their deterioration.