The Commission believes that tremendous industry growth, new industry practices and rapid technological change will dramatically change the aviation system over the next ten years. These changes offer great promise for aviation but only if there is a strong FAA able to meet the challenges such change brings.

The Commission's recommendations -- appropriate budget treatment which links revenue and spending together, a cost-based revenue system, better FAA performance, control of the FAA's operating costs, and increased capital investment -- are designed to ensure that our nation's aviation system remains preeminent and that the FAA is up to the challenge. The recommendations complement and reinforce each other to make certain that the FAA is a well-managed organization, meeting the highest standards of performance, responsive to customer needs, and has adequate resources to make critical investments.

Again, the Commission stresses the recommendations are part of an integrated, comprehensive package. The consensus the Commission developed rests in large part on the recommendations being, adopted in whole, not piece meal.

Without adoption of these recommendations, delays and congestion will become overwhelming; the current excellent safety record will be Jeopardized; anticipated growth in the aviation industry will stop: air traffic control services and investments will be, at the same time, inadequately funded, disconnected from users needs, and poorly managed; and the global competitive position of the United States will be threatened.

As with all significant changes, these recommendations are not without controversy. They will require the major stakeholders in aviation -- the FAA, the Congress. the Executive Branch, and the aviation community -- to assume new or changed roles. This is not taken lightly by the Commission. It is only because we believe the air traffic system is facing gridlock with potential safety consequences that we propose such action. It is increasingly impossible to effectively run an agency every day and hour of the year within the constraints of the current federal budget process and the current organizational and management structure of the agency. These problems will become more pronounced as the FAA tries to keep up with technological changes and industry growth at a time of increasingly scarce federal resources.

It is the hope of the Commissioners that this report and its accompanying legislative proposal will help build consensus for these needed and necessary changes. All sectors of the industry have been included in the Commission's deliberations, and we believe there will be widespread support for the recommendations. The Commissioners stand ready to work with anyone to explain and help implement this proposal as the Commission's recommendations are read, discussed and acted upon.

This is a unique opportunity for change. Members of Congress, the Administration, the aviation community, and the FAA have all expressed a willingness to end business-as-usual. It is our hope that the Commission's recommendations serve as a catalyst for delivering significant reform to an essential part of our aviation system.

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