AOPA Endorses House FAA Funding Bill

No User Fees, More Money for ATC and Airports


The bill would "require the FAA to establish a system to monitor the staffing of flight service stations and the training of specialists, as well as any other safety or customer service issues relating to [Lockheed Martin's] performance of the contract. When Boyer and aviation subcommittee Chairman Costello discussed H.R.2881 last night, Costello indicated that they need to talk further about the flight service station problems.

The bill also proposes some increases or new charges for specific FAA services, such as aircraft registration or certificate issuances. AOPA is currently analyzing these charges as part of its line-by-line review of the 168-page bill. "In concept, these charges are really no different than what most states do for driver's licenses or boat and car registration," said Boyer, "and recognizing that legislation is always compromise, nothing at this point dampens our enthusiasm for this forward-looking FAA funding- reauthorization bill."

A 'great bill'

"As we consider the three FAA reauthorization bills now pending before Congress, the FAA's bill is totally unacceptable. And thankfully, it appears to be dead," Boyer said. "The Senate addressed many of general aviation's concerns in its version, but the imposition of $25 per flight air traffic control user fee would ultimately and inevitably harm general aviation," Boyer said.

"The members of the House Transportation Committee truly listened to our members and their constituents, and understood all of the issues confronting general aviation.

"The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 would pay for the badly needed modernization of America's air traffic control system, would provide money to maintain and improve the general aviation airports that are vital to the total system, and it would do so without imposing the user fees that have led to the near extinction of general aviation in countries like Australia, New Zealand, England, and Germany. This is a great bill."

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the FAA funding bill June 28. It will now be considered by other House committees before being sent to the House floor for a vote.

With 412,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation association. Some two thirds of all U.S. pilots are members of the association, which is dedicated to protecting the interests of general aviation.

SOURCE Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

Contact: Chris Dancy of AOPA, +1-301-695-2159, chris.dancy@aopa.org

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