FAA proposal benefits pilots, ups corporate-jet users’ fees

Your article about the Federal Aviation Administration’s plan to reform and modernize the nation’s aviation programs missed the mark on how the proposal would support and strengthen the general aviation (GA) community (“FAA’s air-traffic fee proposal sparks resistance,” April 17).

For example, we would direct federal dollars to the neediest airports, many of which primarily serve GA aircraft. As a result, pilots will see better facilities, smoother runways and improved safety measures like signs and lighting.
In addition, GA pilots won’t pay a dime in user fees unless they fly into the busiest airports, like Chicago’s O’Hare or New York’s LaGuardia.

Those who would pay more under our proposal are the few who can afford corporate jets that cost between $1,800 and $3,000 an hour to operate. Their price tag to fly would rise less than three percent. That’s not much when you consider that airline passengers pay more than 95 percent of the cost of running the air traffic system.

Ultimately, our plan will make general aviation flying more convenient, more accessible and more reliable than ever before. That’s because the new satellite-based air traffic equipment that our proposal will pay for will reduce the growing congestion that is robbing many pleasure pilots of the very joy that lured them to the cockpit in the first place.

~From Marion C. Blakey, administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C.



Someone should inform presidential hopeful John Edwards about the Constitution of the United States, and particularly the First Amendment (article, “Edwards blasts Coulter, comes to Obama’s aid,” May 9). His statement that “her outrageous comments are inexcusable and should not be tolerated in the public dialogue” is far more outrageous than anything Ann Coulter has ever said.

~ From James B. Davis, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Hypocrisy and more

Far be it for me to try to defend Ann Coulter. She is more than capable of defending herself. But Sen. John Edwards is, in my estimation, not qualified to criticize anyone, even Ann Coulter.

Edwards is our nation’s biggest hypocrite. He postures as a defender of the “little guy” but has made his fortune by pursuing highly lucrative class-action lawsuits that have cost every consumer in America countless thousands of dollars each. He preaches conservation while living in energy-intensive splendor on a palatial estate. He preaches compassion and family values, but pursues his political career with egotistical single-mindedness while his wife is dying of terminal cancer.

There is nothing to recommend former Sen. John Edwards. Ann Coulter is right. He is an empty-headed fop.

~From Patrick Curry, Irvine, Calif.