TRANSPORTATION: Fly the Taxing Skies

Fly the Taxing Skies

Air-passenger traffic in the U.S. has zoomed more than 150% since 1974, yet that was when the last major new American airport opened (Dallas-Fort Worth International). To relieve the worsening jet gridlock, the Bush Administration last week proposed a $47 billion five-year plan to provide new aviation facilities, ranging from runways to air-traffic-control computers. And who will pick up the tab? The Federal Aviation Administration wants 85% of the funding to come from new taxes on jet fuel and tickets, which could add $20 to the average domestic fare.

But the plan's takeoff may be delayed in Congress. Some lawmakers believe...