Delta Plays a Video Urging Small Jets to Pay Up

The major airlines are targeting owners of corporate jets in a new PR campaign. I saw it myself while flying Delta from Italy to the US. After the movies, a commercial was aired on the plane, first showing the roots of the current air traffic control system. The movie illustrated that our system is pathetically outdated…that it forces jetliners to follow zig zag patterns made up in the 1940s when planes used to navigate by following bonfires on the ground.

The video talked about the need for a gigantic and expensive new air traffic control system. And they pointed out that the reason runways are so crowded is that there are now so many private jets. Cut to a scene of a tycoon sipping champagne in a Gulfstream. The airlines want to change the ratio of approximately 97-3, by percent, that they pay compared with what the little planes pay.

Airlines say that the only way we can afford this new high tech FAA guidance program and all of the new equipment they have to buy ($600K per plane) is to raise the tax on those pesky corporate jets.

But remember who flies those jets–lobbyists, politicians, corporate donors and the most vocal and politically charged group. That’s why it is so hard to raise taxes on corporate planes. But the outgoing chief of the FCC blames airlines on the congestion problems. She said they schedule too many flights, on smaller and smaller planes and since there are no new runways, it’s bound to tie people up.

The next time you fly see if you see this video.