Who Pays for Private Jet Services?
The government has spent about $7 billion upgrading general aviation facilities -- those wee airports used by private planes, including corporate jets and charters, according to a new analysis by the Associated Press. Where does the money come from?
Most comes from federal airport improvement grants, a fund that is fed from airline ticket taxes paid by passengers flying commercial aircrafts.
Seeing AP's figures, the Lexington Herald-Leader took a look at a Kentucky general aviation facility that has gotten $12 million in federal airport improvement grants since 2001, the Kentucky paper reports. Thanks apparently goes to U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers. The Republican who sits on the House Appropriations Committee uses the airfield for trips home. How many flights does the airport serve? At the height of the summer season, maybe 25 a week.
Airlines have been crying foul for some time, and Congress will decide later this year whether to end the subsidies. Then again, supporters of the small airports say they're vital to the economy. Like, corporate executives are less likely to locate in a small area if they can't get in and out quickly, and the airports are handy for last-minute delivery of factory parts.
What, oh what, should Congress do?
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