User fees on general aviation are still a threat as President Obama raised their ugly head in his comments on taxes during the debate Wednesday night (Oct. 3) with Mitt Romney. The President’s statement brought a quick condemnation from Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association.
In his remarks about taxing the wealthy, Obama said companies able to afford a corporate jet should be able to afford using it. He did not mention potential charges also on all turbo-prop aircraft and possibility of fees for other flights for business purposes that are possible in the user fee proposal. The proposal does exempt piston aircraft and flying for pleasure.
Bolen’s immediate rebuttal said the President disparaged business aviation and mischaracterized the industry.
“At a time when both candidates claim to be putting job creation at the top of their agendas,” he said, “it is unfortunate the President denigrated the business aviation industry, which is responsible for 1.2 million American jobs and $150 billion in economic impact.”
He added that the President’s comments mischaracterized the businesses that depend on airplanes, the majority of which are small- to mid-sized businesses, farms, flight schools, medical care providers and emergency responders that use the aircraft to connect communities and grow their businesses