NBAA: President Should Ditch Latest Aviation User Fee Attempt

Washington, DC, March 4, 2014 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today said the latest attempt from the White House to impose a per-flight user fee on general aviation ignores the message sent from Congress, mayors, governors and industry stakeholders that user fees are not the right approach to aviation system funding and modernization.

Per-flight user fees are a part of President Obama's fiscal year 2015 spending proposal, released today, which sets budgets for government agencies. Specifically, the page numbered “957” at the link below states: “…the Administration proposes to establish a new surcharge for air traffic services of $100 per flight.”

Read the relevant portions of the Obama administration’s budget regarding user fees for general aviation.

Although the general aviation community has been unified in opposing user fees for decades, the president has continually supported the fees, calling for them first in 2010 as part of his annual budget outline.

Bolen noted that the White House has continually set aside the reality that the general aviation community pays for its use of the aviation system through the proven, efficient fuel tax. He added that, as with previous user fee proposals from the White House, this one should be taken seriously – but that, as in the past, the key to stopping proposals the industry opposes is for people to mobilize and call upon Congress and other elected officials to take action.

Bolen added that congressional lawmakers have opposed user fees like those suggested by the president in previous annual spending proposals. Most recently – in anticipation of the release of the president’s budget today – four key congressmen sent a letter to again ask the president to refrain from seeking the new fees. The letter was welcomed by NBAA and other aviation stakeholders. Read the letter from the four congressmen in its entirety

“NBAA will continue to work to defeat user fees and support the aviation fuel tax mechanism as the most effective way for us to contribute to the system,” Bolen said today. “I know that if our business aviation community continues to let Congress and our state and local officials know of our concerns, we will be able to continue ensuring that our unified voice is heard.”