User Fees a Hot Topic at Bizav Gathering
Solid progress in the fight against user fees has been made, but the general aviation community has to stay involved for the battle to be won, according to leaders of the fight who took the dais at the User Fee Forum at NBAA 2007 yesterday. “We’re in terminal airspace but there’s convective weather ahead,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, likening the effort to a long-distance flight. “We’re not on final approach, by any means.” AOPA president Phil Boyer and Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America, joined Bolen for the forum. Fuel taxes fund the FAA under the current law, but airlines want the new law to rely on user fees instead. Though the battle has been cast as a debate over the best way to fund modernization of the FAA, GA advocates claim the airlines are using this issue as a smokescreen in an effort to shift $1.5 billion to $2 billion in annual taxes onto the GA community.