Journal Record Staff Reporter
Disbursement of federal aviation trust fund money is
distributed fairly and equitably among the 50 states, so there's
not much chance that Oklahoma's share will increase appreciably,
the nation's top aviation official said Tuesday.
Oklahoma officials have complained for years that of the
federal aviation taxes paid from the state, only 4.6 percent is
returned annually for use on airport improvement projects. This
figure, however, is misleading, said David R. Hinson,
administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
"If you look at a particular time period, I'm sure that you
can make a case that one state or the other is not getting its
fair share returned," he said during a press conference in
Oklahoma City. "But all the states get anywhere from zero to 100
percent of their tax money back. It just depends upon which time
period you are looking at.
"In the short term, I'm sure that Oklahoma does not receive as
much as it contributes, but over the long term, you will receive
a good share. I'm convinced that the aviation trust fund is
distributed equally, even-handedly and equitably among the 50
Hinson, an Oklahoma native, was visiting the FAA's Mike
Monroney Aeronautical Center at Will Rogers World Airport to help
prepare for Partnership 21 which will bring about 100 aviation
leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean to Norman June
12-17. That program, which is expected to attract senior
officials, mostly directors of civil aviation, is co-sponsored by
the FAA's Office of International Aviation and the University of
Oklahoma College of Continuing Education.
"We want to expand our aviation partnership among the
countries from Canada to Chile and Argentina," Hinson said. "We
want to make sure that we are ready for this wonderful
opportunity to show the good Oklahoma hospitality."
Objective of Partnership 21 is to form mutually beneficial
international alliances for the 21st Century by encouraging a
cooperative effort with the FAA , participating regions, academia
and private sector aviation companies and associations, the FAA
It will involve discussions, presentations and demonstrations
on aspects of civil aviation, including the FAA's experience in
plans for global navigation satellite system and other
modernization programs in use or planned.
One of the aspects of the program, Hinson said, will be
discussions on aviation safety which has gotten a big boost in
the United States recently. There have been no passenger
fatalities on commercial airlines in the United States in two
years, and only one fatality on the ground, Hinson said.
"In the past three decades, there have been remarkable
improvements in flight safety," he said. "If you look at our
accident record in 1961 and consider the passenger miles flown
that year, with the same safety record with the number of
passenger miles flown in 1994, there should have been 245