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Mica: No More FAA Shutdowns

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 03:32 PM

The 18th Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress Kics off this week in Orlando

(Orlando- WMFE) Central Florida Congressman John Mica wants to pass a four-year aviation re-authorization bill by January.  But to come to an agreement,  he doesn't want another FAA shutdown.

"What's different is we've been there and done it,"  the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee told a crowd gathered at the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems being held in Orlando this week.

"No one liked the partial shutdown, it caused a great disruption but it did get me a solution.  We will have in place long term transportation policy definitely for aviation, and I'm going to do my best for surface and highway transportation."

More Money Please

Mica also said he wants to fund transportation and infrastructure projects beyond their current level but didn't provide specifics, "We've got to find a whole new way for funding transportation."  One idea the Congressman adamantly opposed was any consideration of increasing the Federal gas tax, "completely off the table is any raise in the gas tax.  We are looking at funding possibly, the speaker (John Boehner) has said  some other sources, maybe at the wellhead, maybe where we could get a more reliable and steady transportation funding mechanism. Right now the system is broken.  You drive further and you pay less."

Technology Solutions

Some ideas that could save money for drivers and governments are on display at the 18th ITS World Congress.  One of them is the newly commissioned Central Florida National Test Bed for connected vehicles.  The test bed is composed of a 25 mile loop around part of Interstate 4 loaded with short range radio and GPS transmitters.  Those transponders communicate with so called "connected vehicles" which share safety information in real-time.  The idea is supposed to allow drivers to receive safety warnings if there is road hazard or car crash ahead.  Proponents of the technology, including the US Department of Transportation estimate implementing a "connected vehicle system" could reduce traffic congestion and emissions, and lower driving costs.

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Comments [2]

J Dean

I don't understand why an increase to the federal gas tax is "off the table." This makes no sense to me -- and I'm a lifelong Republican saying this. The federal gas tax hasn't been raised in many years. Raising the gas tax provides a long list of benefits: it would provide badly needed funding for our infrastructure needs and encourage the purchase of high-mileage vehicles. Moreover, it's efficient -- it's a tax that's already being collected, so no new collection mechanism has to be created.

Oct. 19 2011 08:54 AM
Employment Law Solicitors

I agree. Congress needs to pass a long term budget for the FAA so no more shutdowns occur. This ends up costing even more money by not passing a plan, which taxpayers end up paying for, and we're already in dire straits as it is.

Oct. 18 2011 09:33 AM

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