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OpenMarket: Aviation

  • What Will the SpaceShipTwo Crash Mean for Commercial Space Flight Regulation?

    October 31, 2014

    The crash of a test flight of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, which cost the life of one, riveted many around the globe on Friday afternoon.

    Branson headed to the California site, tweeting, “Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I’m flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team.”

    An investigation will show what happened. The LA Times noted the reawakening to how dangerous these ventures can be. Peopled were lulled into thinking the Virgin craft looked safer than a rocket, but, as an analyst noted, “People will now realize this is space travel...and you’re getting into a rocket.”

    We should be careful that governmental responses do not aggravate risks...

  • Are Consumers Smart Enough to Understand Airline Ancillary Fees?

    September 25, 2014

    In May, I criticized the Department of Transportation’s opening of a rulemaking on airline ancillary fees (baggage, seat assignments, etc.), noting that the primary motivation appeared to be continued expansion of the department’s unfair and deceptive practices authority. In addition, the department’s apparent opinion that consumers are unable to understand ancillary fees, and compare fares and fees across airlines, is completely unsupported.

    Yesterday, I filed comments on behalf of CEI fleshing out some of these objections.

    To be sure, no one is advocating that airlines be permitted to deceive and defraud consumers on ancillary fees. The core of the debate...

  • User Fees Are Not Taxes: The Case for PFCs

    September 9, 2014

    I've noted in the past the natural appeal passenger facility charges (PFCs) should have with fiscal conservatives. These are the user fees airports are allowed to charge passengers leaving their airports. Unlike federal Airport Improvement Program grants (funded via an array of taxes through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund) and local debt financing, PFCs offer a fair, transparent, and direct way for users to pay for the infrastructure investments from which they benefit. The monies collected by the airports are kept by the airports, who then use the funds to make Federal Aviation Administration-approved airport improvements. There are no Washington...

  • One Year Later: TSA Still Flouting the Law on Body Scanners

    June 18, 2014

    CEI Research Associate Matthew La Corte contributed to this article.

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses more than 700 full-body imaging scanners in 160 airports nationwide. In addition to the empirical evidence that shows they don’t actually make us safer and the questions on the intrusion of traveler...

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