FAA Reauthorization Clears House 267-151
The House of Representatives this afternoon approved an FAA reauthorization bill that raises the tax on jet-A from 21.8 to 35.9 cents a gallon and the tax on avgas from 19.3 to 24.1 cents a gallon. To the relief of general aviation, it contains no user fees and no concessions to the airlines. The airline taxes–including 7.5 percent on tickets and 4.3 cents a gallon on jet fuel–will remain at existing levels. Money from the tax hikes on GA fuel would be earmarked exclusively for ATC modernization. But the battle between the airlines and GA is far from over. The Senate still has to pass its version of FAA reauthorization, a version that contains a $25 per-flight user fee for turbine IFR operations, and then a conference committee has to reconcile differences. President Bush has threatened a veto because the House bill contains a provision that would force the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to reopen the disputed contract put into force last summer. The House bill does not currently have sufficient support to overturn the veto.