March 9, 2016
The AIRR Act (H.R. 4441), the FAA reauthorization bill in the House, contains badly needed reforms of U.S. air traffic control. See my FAQ on what this reorganization is all about. Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate, or score, of the AIRR Act. It concludes that the bill would add $19.8 billion to the deficit through 2026. Before conservatives blow a gasket on this supposed budget buster, note that the CBO report relies on some nonsensical assumptions to derive this misleading figure.
CBO assumes aviation taxes will remain the same following the spinoff of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization into the new independent nonprofit ATC Corporation. This is because the House Ways...
March 4, 2016
CEI is a strong supporter of transportation user fees. We prefer tolls over fuel taxes, and local airport user fees over tax-funded federal grants. While there is broad agreement among free market transportation researchers on these points (see Reason Foundation, Cato Institute, and Heritage Foundation on why airport user charges are preferable to broad taxation), some conservatives fail to...
February 24, 2016
To date, CEI’s analysis of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act (H.R. 4441) has largely focused on proposed air traffic control reforms, which CEI strongly supports. But the House’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization plan covers much more than air traffic control corporatization. This series will highlight non-ATC elements of the bill that should either be supported, improved upon, or discarded from a free market, limited-government perspective. The first entry covers the local airport user fee called the passenger facility charge (PFC). This second entry covers unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)....
February 22, 2016
To date, CEI’s analysis of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act (H.R. 4441) has focused on proposed air traffic control reforms, which CEI strongly supports. But the House’s reauthorization plan covers much more than air traffic control corporatization. This series will highlight non-ATC elements of the bill that should either be supported, improved upon, or discarded from a free market, limited-government perspective. The first entry covers the local airport user fee called the passenger facility charge (PFC).
The AIRR Act shows little love for PFC modernization. This is not surprising, given that House leadership has largely focused on air traffic control corporatization, which is an...
February 15, 2016
To anyone following this policy battle, the Times editorial reads like it was written by Delta Air Lines, the sole airline opposed to the deal, even relying on debunked claims about Nav Canada contained in a recent “study” produced by Delta lobbyists. Linking to a Delta press release...
February 11, 2016
Following three government reports in the 1980s highlighting the low cabin air quality caused by cigarette smoking and the health risks of passive smoke, Congress banned smoking aboard airliners.
This prohibition is currently codified at 49 U.S.C. § 41706, and refers to “smoke” and “smoking,” which are banned on domestic and international flights. A popular new alternative to smoking is the electronic cigarette. Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not combust tobacco and do not produce smoke. Instead, they heat a liquid that generates vapor containing nicotine and is absorbed by the user’s lungs.
According to the latest scientific research, e-cigarettes are around...
January 7, 2016
Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration’s two drone rulemakings got a lot of attention: their strange attempt to implement Congress’s airspace integration mandate and their unlawful drone registration mandate. CEI submitted comments in both (see here and here).
With 2016 being the final year of Obama’s presidency, we can expect a flurry of rulemaking activity—some good, but mostly bad....
December 15, 2015
On December 16, the FAA will publish its interim final rule (IFR) on Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft in the Federal Register. The prepublication rule can be found here. IFRs take effect immediately upon publication (more on this below).
Here is the FAA’s summary of major provisions to be included under 14 C.F.R. Part 48 (Table 1, p. 6):
November 23, 2015
On Saturday, the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Registration Task Force issued its recommendations on a mandatory UAS registration proposal. The report is available here. On October 19, the task force was announced by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) Michael Huerta. A Federal Register notice followed on October 22. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed ...
November 23, 2015
On October 23, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the Department of Homeland Security to produce a schedule for final rule publication on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) use of body scanners in airports. This order was in response to a lawsuit filed in July 2015 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)—along with the National Center for Transgender Equality, The Rutherford Institute, and two CEI employees (former President Lawson Bader and me, Marc Scribner)—asking the court to compel the TSA to produce its final rule on body scanners. For years, the TSA had been flouting the federal...