When the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots take their first road trip later this month, players like quarterback Tom Brady will be setting the standard for comfort and legroom on the team’s new private widebody jet.
Moreover, by simply changing from a commercial charter to their own private plane, the NFL franchise also will be skirting a significant portion of the taxes and fees that pay for the U.S. aviation system.
It’s not just sports teams. Operators of the gleaming private jets that have become a symbol of wealth and success pay far less in taxes than airline passengers and other commercial flyers, according to a Bloomberg News analysis and government reports.
On a per flight basis, a private jet could generate as little as two percent of the taxes and fees paid by airline passengers on an identical route, Bloomberg found in its review. High-performance private planes make up about 10 percent of U.S. flights under air-traffic control, yet pay less than 1 percent into a trust fund that finances air-traffic control and other Federal Aviation Administration operations, an agency study found this year.