Letter: Residents win with privatization of air-traffic control

The Aspen Times evidently wants to curry favor with the billionaires who fly their private jets into Aspen. Rick Carroll’s article (“Foes of AIRR Act say it would hurt Aspen general aviation,” March 8) frets that the general aviation sector will lose if the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act passes.

My response to the bill is: “Great.” I hope general aviation loses.

Today a plane carrying 200 or 300 passages pays a much larger fee than a plane carrying six. The fees are very different, even though the total income of those on the plane carrying six may exceed the total income on the plane carrying 200.

What is significant, though, is that the cost of servicing the small plane is identical to the cost of servicing the big plane. Marginal costs are identical.

Every plane movement should pay the same amount. The plane carrying the billionaires should pay the same as a Boeing 747 carrying 400 people. This is basic economics. It costs the same, and the fee should be the same.

Aspen could really benefit from a change. In the ideal world, the Rifle airport would offer lower fees. The millionaires not wanting to pay the high fees for Aspen could divert to Rifle and drive. Meantime, the average bloke flying to Aspen on a commercial airline would experience fewer delays because millionaires and billionaires are flying on planes paying one one-hundredth or one one-thousandth of the landing fee paid by the commercial airlines.

With reform, price-sensitive private fliers would choose to fly to Rifle or other airports, leaving space for those who travel commercial.

Tragically, The Aspen Times has tossed its lot with the billionaires.

Philip Verleger