The Dept. of Transportation’s plan to revamp the way the Airport and Airway Trust Fund is financed is advancing in bureaucratic channels. Federal Aviation Administration chief Marion Blakey said Feb 28 that the Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the proposal, but didn’t disclose details. She did tell FAA’s annual forecast conference “a cost-based revenue system more equitable” in matching users’ fees with expenses imposed on the system.

FAA projects U.S. airlines’ domestic passenger volume will slip 1.1 million in fiscal 2006, to 668.7 million, then post annual gains through 2017. Counting U.S. carriers’ international boardings, FAA says volume will top 1 billion in 2015. Takeoffs and landings are projected to dip slightly in 2006, the second-straight annual decline, and rebound in 2007.