(Hat tip, Instapundit)
If you visit the site home page where this graphic came from you will find:
“Smart Skies is a national campaign by the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) and its 18 member airlines aimed at modernizing the United States' National Airspace System (NAS), and the system's 35-year-old funding mechanism.”I could just as easily and as accurately state that “Smart Skies” is a public relations effort by ‘Big Air’ that not only comes all-too-close to being deceptive by using the name NASA has for one of it’s public education programs, it is also a transparent effort to shape the debate concerning the future air traffic control system to their advantage AND try to dampen the Very Light Jet (Davids) movement which will force the airlines (Goliaths) to ‘change’.
I know this is not news to most people, but big corporations generally hate change because it means uncertainty and risk (hardly new to the post-deregulation Air Transport dinosaurs). I posted on the disruptive nature of the VLJs on air transport a while back here and here. (Ironically, if Big Air was more flexible they could exploit this development to their advantage -- and I am waiting to see which of the big guys wises up the fastest.)
General Aviation has always paid its way via fuel (primarily) and other taxes, but the ATA has been pushing the FAA for years to levy user fees on the system as well. General aviation groups such as AOPA and EAA have been fighting the ATA on this since before the Very Light Jets were on the horizon, and the VLJ industry sees it as a pure power play as well. For a summary of the issue, Eclipse Aviation has a copy of a very good article on their website here.
If the graphic that was posted had the airplanes represented in scale, you would have needed an electron microscope to see the planes. If they thought the American public was REALLY stupid they would have made the airplanes three times as big; and the graphic would be no less materially deceptive than it already is.