AOPA promises strong opposition to user fee proposal

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said Tuesday it would continue to reject aviation user fees after the White House released its 2015 budget proposal, which calls for a $100-per-flight “surcharge” to pay for air traffic control services.

The presidential spending plan is the fourth in a row to contain a similar user fee proposal, despite vocal objections from Congress and the aviation community.

“We are disappointed that the President doesn’t seem to have gotten the message,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “This is the wrong way to fund our national air transportation system, and user fees like this one could cripple general aviation. We are working hard to make general aviation more accessible and affordable, and whether you call it a user fee or a surcharge, we will keep fighting against proposals like this that would raise the cost of flying.”

The aviation community has had strong support from Congress in rejecting user fees. On Feb. 27, leaders of the House Aviation Subcommittee and the co-chairs of the House General Aviation Caucus sent a letter to President Obama reiterating their strong bipartisan opposition to user fees and asking the President not to include a user fee proposal in his upcoming budget. The letter noted that the House of Representatives has repeatedly rejected this user fee proposal and opposition remains strong in both parties.

Last April, 223 members of the House of Representatives signed a strongly worded letter to the President opposing user fees and telling the President the idea was “dead on arrival.”

AOPA and other GA alphabet groups have long argued that user fees are the wrong way to fund the national air transportation system and that the FAA needs to reduce spending in several areas before looking for any new revenues. The current system of excise taxes on fuel is efficient and ensures that everyone who flies pays to support the system, officials noted.t?sender=aamFuaWNlQGdlbmVyYWxhdmlhdGlvbm5ld3MuY29t&type=zerocontent&guid=1aecfbf5-3cf4-468d-9a0e-b23a94627344


  1. says

    This is not about user fees to fund GA, it is about transfer of the wealth. GA is already being financed by an aviation fuel tax, which is the most efficient way. User fees would require a mass hiring of new government employees to collect the unruly fees. It would be difficult if not impossible for user fees to even pay for all of the new employees.

    Along with Obama’s user fee proposal is a cut in spending on Nextgen, so we will be paying more for less. In other words we will get nothing for paying a $100 per flight user fee, which will grow and grow if aloud to get started. This is nothing more than Obama’s stated agenda of transferring the wealth. Problem is it will hurt GA and cost jobs to our already job deficient Obama economy.

    Any user fee will also make GA far less efficient and safe as the flight crew will have to run around airports paying the user fee here and a parking fee somewhere else while trying to check weather and plan a flight. I know all about this dog and pony show since I fly international and have witnessed the nightmare first hand in other countries.

    Make no mistake any user fee will punish GA in many ways!

  2. C Gerker says

    As a former fed. I found that the organization never places it’s assets where they are needed. Tending to hire in advance for jobs that have not materialized then scramble to get those people in to justifiable work to cover the screw up. I.E., sending staff from Seattle to work in CA, NV, AZ and the like. Thus stripping the local manpower staff where the jobs resided and deleting those resources. Costing the tax payers more in transportation to move people to the companies needed review.

  3. Jeff Aryan says

    If user fees come there will be one less pilot and aircraft owner purchasing everything associated with aviation. What a shame, more people will be out of work.

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