Bolen: 'Look Before Jumping' On NextGen Funding

By John Croft john.croft@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First

“There was a lot of talk when privatization was first mentioned in the 1980s and 1990s,” he says. “The idea was that we needed a stable and predictable funding system [because the existing mechanism] was not reliable, they said. The reality – if you go back and look at funding for the FAA over the past 15 years – what you will see is an almost unbroken line of increases. Increases despite the fact we had a technology bubble burst, terrorist attacks, and fought two wars.”

Bolen notes that the government’s General Fund contribution, which pays 25% of the FAA’s overall budget, is set at $4 billion this year and is expected to drop to $3.2 billion next year, based on the White House’s request. “Before we give up on the system, we ought to say, ‘Where’s that $4B going to come from?’” says Bolen. “I think we need to be careful that we look before we jump.”