The way it works now is that if you want to file an IFR flight plan, you just do it. You then pick up your clearance and go. Whether you’re flying a Citation-X or a Super Cub, as long as the aircraft is IFR capable and the pilot(s) are instrument-rated and capable, that’s about it. The system itself is paid for by fuel taxes. Oh, some of the bigger airports have landing fees, but most don’t.
What the airlines really want to do is to stamp out the use of ATC by general aviation, which they will seek to do by charging user-fees that the airlines will say are “fair and equitable”. It’ll be like converting the interstate highway system into toll roads and then letting the trucking companies set the toll rates. That won’t bother users of the really big bizjets, a couple extra grand won’t faze Larry Ellison or Oprah Winfrey. But charging owners of Mooneys or Cessnas a couple hundred to file an IFR flight plan will persuade a lot of them to either try the trip VFR or take a commercial flight, which would also please the airlines.
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