Misleading National Article Gets Swift EAA, GA Community Response
April 19 , 2007 — This week, EAA and its members joined the entire general aviation community in quickly responding to a national Associated Press story by Bob Porterfield that portrays general aviation primarily as a group ?globetrotting executives,? which receives federal subsidies through federal airline passenger taxes and fees. While the story does include some limited comments from general aviation representatives, most newspapers throughout the country ran a condensed version of the story, making it largely unbalanced and sympathetic to the airlines? goal to offload expenses to GA through user fees and a large fuel tax increase.
Stephen G. Myers, chairman of EAA Chapter 838 Foundation, Inc., Racine, Wisconsin, responded to the story with a letter to the Racine Journal Times, which ran a version of the AP story. EAA supplied Myers with essential background on the issue, much of which is also available on the EAA Website.
EAA also supplied a sample ?letter to the editor? that local members and chapters could use as a basis for their own communication to the media in their communities. It describes the user-fee issue in comparison to driving a motor vehicle, something that easily relates to an average newspaper reader?s day-to-day activities.
While these specific actions help respond to specific misinformation, EAA and other GA groups continue their larger battle to ensure that the current FAA funding proposal is shown for what it is: An attempt by the nation?s airlines to offload more of their costs onto the backs of individual GA owners and pilots.