An Uber-style business that connects private pilots with travelers willing to split fuel costs and other expenses reportedly is seeking to overturn a Federal Aviation Administration decision to ground their plan.
Flytenow Inc. founders Matt Voska and Alan Guichard, aided by the Goldwater Institute and Americans for Tax Reform, are pushing to win support in Congress and with limited-government groups for an amendment to the pending Federal Aviation Administration funding bill to clear their plan for takeoff, the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard
Flytenow.com connected members who share expenses in exchange for flights on a route predetermined by the pilot. Their business model, used in Europe, would offer unused space on general aviation aircraft for about 10 percent of a charter flight ticket, the Examiner reported.
"There is a huge excess of capacity and it's easier for people to get to their destination than by car," said Voska, who is a pilot. "We're just trying to make use of empty seats," he told Bedard.
FAA rules rejected the idea that cost-sharing is different from a commercial aviation operation.
AirPooler Inc. offered a similar service that was also blocked by the FAA’s rules, which rejected the idea that cost-sharing is different from a commercial aviation operation.
The FAA is justified in making a distinction between pilots offering expense-sharing services to a limited group and those offering the same services to a wide audience, a Washington, D.C., court ruled late last year, Bloomberg
There’s a risk that unsuspecting passengers “will contract with pilots who in fact lack the experience and credentials of commercial pilots,” the court said in its ruling.
The original FAA legal opinion ruled against what it called “peer-to-peer general aviation flight-sharing Internet-based operations,” The Wall Street Journal
reported. This type of aviation would allow general aviation or private pilots, who aren’t held to the same standards as commercial pilots, to offer available space in their aircraft for flights they planned to take.
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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