White House says $100-per-flight fee is needed

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Aviation groups are gearing up for another fight against the $100-per-flight charge for use of air traffic services after the White House rejected a petition calling for dropping the proposal.

Dana Hyde, associate director for General Government Programs, said in a letter rejecting the petition that “the Obama Administration believes it’s essential that those who benefit from our world-class aviation system help pay for its ongoing operation.” Hyde said the proposed $100-per-flight fee would generate an estimated $11 billion dollars over 10 years.

Current proposals are that only users of general aviation jet aircraft would pay the fee but observers of U.S. government programs through the years doubt this limitation would continue if a fee structure of this type is started.

The rejection of the petition to eliminate the proposed fee was announced Friday before the Martin Luther King Jr. three-day weekend. This is a common practice of timing unpopular announcements before a weekend so little news coverage would be given and other news events would push the unpopular news in the background before a new week of heavy reporting. General aviation groups, however, are not letting the news die. Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation association, and Craig Fuller, president and CEO of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, quickly cited GA’s contribution through fuel taxes and a willingness to accept an increase in that tax.

Hyde’s letter said a commercial airliner flying between Los Angeles and San Francisco would pay between 21 and 33 times the fuel tax paid by a corporate jet flying the same route. AOPA’s Fuller said this is false. The current 21.9-cents-per gallon tax on jet fuel provides $87 in fuel taxes for a Gulfstream IV business jet flying the same route while the 4.4 cents-per-gallon paid by an airliner would produce only $68. NBAA’s Bolen was equally critical of the administration’s position. He said “Unfortunately, it appears the White House will continue supporting its position on user fees by promoting the tired rhetoric that disparages general aviation, when it should instead be promoting the industry, and the jobs, exports and economic development it generates.”

Congress would have to approve the administration’s request to access the $100 per flight fee. Hyde’s letter said, “We look forward to working collaboratively with the Congress and the aviation stakeholder community on the issue.”

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  1. chas Lees says

    I’d feel a lot better about that 100 dollars I give to AOPA if they had been outspoken during the Bush administration and all the damage it did to GA after 911. Stretching the truth about 100 dollar fees for 172’s does not help keep a united front against what is really hurting GA. Stick to the facts.

  2. Sosted says

    Once again the Evil Regime is creating a division to leverage a tax on productive citizens……..It’s prime directive! 

  3. gbin says

    “Current proposals are that only users of general aviation jet aircraft would pay the fee but observers of U.S. government programs through the years doubt this limitation would continue if a fee structure of this type is started.”

    Who are these so-called observers?  What are their credentials?

    The fact of the matter is that only jet aircraft would be affected, not piston aircraft which make up the great majority of general aviation.  The rest is just a politically driven doomsday hypothetical.

    How about we stick to honestly portraying and dealing with the issues actually facing general aviation?

    • Anonymous says

      I guarantee you if they start imposing this fee the cessna 172 drivers and the rest of the piston crowd are next. Dont underestimate this adiministrations demand for higher and higher taxes to fund there social plans.

      • gbin says

        Sorry, but guarantees given to me by people who indulge in politically driven doomsday hypotheticals don’t mean anything to me.  I live in the real world, and prefer to stay there.

  4. Hugh says

    I received an email thanking me for supporting this
    initiative. I certainly do not and if I did sign a petition I was duped. The thank
    you letter sent to me by the White House also was crafted in such a way as to
    make you believe they believe what we believe but if you read on (several
    times) you realize that they are trying to manipulate the public. What a
    wonderful thing to realize your government is a snake salesman and will twist and
    use your own thought against you. How many of you have been fleeced by a slick

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