About aiREFORM

Welcome to the ‘Aviation Impact REFORM’ website, version two.

The original version of aiREFORM.com was started in September 2012. It would be nice to say things have improved since, but that would be lying. In fact, the imbalance of power, between the aviation community and the non-aviation community has only worsened.

The minority increasingly dominates the majority in a classic inequity. In the last decade, we have seen FAA roll out NextGen and set up for more capacity with multiple Metroplex redesigns. All this, to enable a couple airlines at each hub airport to boost profits while impacting people below under concentrated flightpaths. We’ve also seen:

  • the vast majority of toxic lead pollution continues to be caused by mostly recreational pilots, burning 100LL fuel (three decades after we ended lead in automotive fuel).
  • FAA and lobbyists continue to impede local efforts to allow officials to shut down problematic airports, like KSMO Santa Monica.
  • Aviation’s percentage of greenhouse gas emissions has grown, while industry deceives and greenwashes false fixes like sustainable aviation fuels.
  • We recently elevated aviation thrill-rides to include quick rocket launches sending rich civilians to space and back … just because they can afford it.
  • Aviation impact activism is on the rise: more people are connecting via social media, and attending airport meetings, but they are being stonewalled and ignored by FAA and airport authorities.
  • Worse, more pilots have become emboldened by FAA laziness (and perhaps the uncivil examples of depraved politicians?), and are aggressively ‘aviation bullying’; the homes of local aviation impact activists are being targeted with fly-bys, dives, low-altitude maneuvers, and other pilot aggression.
  • And, we face renewed industry efforts to develop supersonic air transport, in a political and economic environment that seems utterly incapable of saying ‘NO!’.

Even more than in 2012, it is clear: aviation benefits itself while imposing large impacts upon many. This inequity is wrong. Reforms are long overdue, and require action by Congress and FAA. When will they step up and fix this?

Purpose of this Website:

This website aims to provide the data, analysis, and documents activists need (1) to clearly understand the impacts and culture of their aviation nemesis (the impacting industry); (2) to navigate around the obfuscation and bullshit deployed by FAA and their industry partners; and (3) to push back factually and intelligently, to correct the inequities. In short, the goal is to empower people to achieve impact reforms and restore an appropriate balance between aviation and the non-aviation ‘human’ part of our communities.

Democracy, community integrity, and human health are more important than airline profits or the recreational whims of the tiny fraction of general aviation (GA) pilots in our population. Amazingly, FAA’s own data shows that, at the end of 2022, there are 442,400 certificated airplane pilots[1] in the U.S., and at least 121,100 of those have no instrument rating, thus are solely recreational pilots. For a U.S. population of 336 Million, these figures represent a mere fraction of 1%; that is, 1 in 759 citizens (0.13%) are airplane pilots, and 1 in 2,775 citizens (0.04%) are certified for recreational flying only. Yet, we divert many billions each year, from airline passenger taxes and air cargo taxes to subsidize GA airports and these impactful (and sometimes abusive) GA pilots. George Carlin was right: “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”

[1]This figure includes pilot certificates for fixed-wing airplanes, for the following: private pilot, commercial pilot, Air Transport pilot, recreational, and sport. It does not include helicopter-only or glider-only pilot certificates, as it aims to quantify the total population who pilot small GA airplanes (personal propeller planes and jets).