Nowadays, if the U.S. Secretary of Transportation or the FAA Administrator are in the same room as a camera, they will auto launch into their standard sales pitch: say good things about FAA, claim they are all for safety, and make more false environmental claims like, “yay, look how ‘green’ aviation is becoming!” Of course, talk is cheap.
If we really cared to reduce the environmental impact of today’s commercial passenger aviation, we would take a tip from a group in the United Kingdom, AFreeRide.org. Below is a JPEG of one of their webpages, showing the brilliant idea they have: a progressive airfare tax, wherein there would be no taxes on your first annual trip, but the tax amount would get larger with each subsequent airline trip. Thus, a shift that informs participants in the airline travel market: if you are a frequent air traveler, you will pay a much larger share of the costs to maintain the ATC system.
The beauty of this idea extends much further. By creating a disincentive against excessive airline travel, this proposal stands to reduce aviation fuel consumption (thus, CO2 emissions) and soot emissions, as well as reduce noise pollution and congestion at crowded hub airports. Many could benefit. Here is another one of their webpages:
What do YOU think? Should FAA push a new air passenger tax structure such as this? Would it help to mitigate excessive airport noise near your closest airport?