““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Rep. Costello Condemns Aviation User Fees
Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued a statement on Friday urging President Obama not to include general aviation user fees in the fiscal 2012 federal budget. "A user-fee proposal would be a step backward," Costello wrote. "This is an issue that we have had bipartisan agreement on in recent years and there is no reason to reconsider it. I will not support a budget or an FAA reauthorization bill that includes user fees."
Costello is also circulating a letter opposing user fees to his House colleagues for their signature, mirroring a similar initiative he launched in 2009 that had strong bipartisan support. National Business Aviation Association president and CEO Ed Bolen applauded Costello "as an effective champion for general aviation" and added, "We thank him for taking this action early in the year to send a clear and strong message of opposition to user fees." The general aviation community has long been unified in advocating for the industry to help fund the FAA and modernize the country's aviation system through the existing fuel-tax structure rather than with user fees.