Bolen Promotes Modernization of Air Traffic System

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or

WASHINGTON, DC, April 4, 2007 – Speaking today at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen reiterated the general aviation industry’s long-standing commitment to aviation system modernization.

“The future of general aviation depends on our access to airports and airspace,” Bolen said. “We know from history that the greater the congestion, the greater the likelihood that we will get squeezed out.”

Bolen discussed several “Next Generation” technologies supported by the general aviation community; he specifically highlighted automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) technology, which has been called the “backbone” of the Next Generation Aviation system.

In his remarks, Bolen also reminded attendees that a new funding structure, like the one proposed in the big airlines’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill, was not necessary for modernization.

In recent months, several sources have agreed.

  • In October of last year, an official with the Congressional Budget Office told a House Aviation Subcommittee that the balance in the Aviation Trust Fund is expected to continue increasing at a pace that could fully support the proposed FAA air traffic control modernization plan without the need for new user fees or other taxes.
  • Last month, the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General agreed, telling a Congressional Subcommittee: “…The current financing mechanism could support both FAA’s ongoing funding requirements and the potential cost of developing the next generation air traffic control system (NextGen), assuming revenue projections materialize.”
  • A recent Government Accountability Office study concluded likewise, stating: “The current funding structure has supported FAA as FAA’s budget has grown, and it can continue to do so to fund planned modernization.”

“People need to understand that aviation system modernization must be a national priority, but user fees are a separate and unrelated issue,” Bolen said.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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