Letter To The Editor:
I’m glad to see Dave Weiman’s opinions concerning industry reform. I think he is barely scratching the surface. The crux of General Aviation’s decline is the cost of government mandates and regulation. This has evolved to a complex issue that involves big business, influence, and money – part of the reason 1320 lbs. (a round number of 600 kilograms in Europe) is the limit for LSAs.
I remember the days of a less invasive FAA when a (Cessna) 172 cost $15,000, about $100,000 in today’s numbers. However, essentially the same airplane today costs $300,000 new and unimproved. In the less regulated automobile industry, the $5,000 Chevy now costs about $30,000, and it is much updated and improved. This is exactly where costs should be according to the CPI. Items that are unregulated, like computers, have seen price drops with tremendous performance increases.
The complex regulatory and mandating nightmare that is government is the cause of cost inefficiency and the decline of aviation. An example is the new regulations that are a result of the Buffalo tragedy. Part of the cause of that accident was (pilot) fatigue caused by the crew commuting and not getting adequate sleep. This was the sole generator of the fatigue regulation. However, the root cause of the crews fatigue contributing to the accident (commuting) was not addressed in the expensive regulation. Big business, money, and government in bed with them twisted the regulation in this manner.
I used the above only as an example of similar regulations that exist and are twisted in a way that give existing big business an advantage at great cost to consumers.