WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another alleged independent group has come out with a study of airport financial grants and revealed that they, too, know little about aviation.
The study, released by a “watchdog” group that looks into government spending, says it found “billions of dollars flowing to low priority airports.”
A release from Subsidyscope, an initiative of the Pew Economic Policy Group of the Pew Foundation, which released the study, said between 2005 and 2009, more than $2 billion was granted for more than 3,100 airport projects it called “low priority.”
The group said these airports received priority ratings below the FAA’s threshold for projects consistent with national goals and objectives. The report also cited how the funds are secured from fuel and ticket taxes, adding that the money came mostly from “passengers using large commercial airports.”
When the report was released, FAA officials tried to set the record straight by pointing out that there are many factors that govern grants, such as safety, security, and impact on system capacity.
One example of the organization’s lack of understanding of the value of airports is this statement: “Subsidyscope analysis also reveals that a number of small airports that accommodate as few as one paying passenger each year received significant amounts of federal funding from AIP.” Statements such as these show Subsidyscope officials are under the impression that airports are only for passenger service and never used for air ambulance, fire fighting, business travel, air taxi, and a myriad of other missions.
The obvious lack of understanding of airport financing revealed in the study confirms what people who conduct studies and surveys know: “Tell me what you want to show and I’ll get the research to prove it.”
Ironically, on the day the study was released, general aviation received a boost from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who issued a strong proclamation recognizing the important role that aviation plays in Georgia’s economy and for towns and communities across the state.