- November 14, 2006, 8:39 AM
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen joined several aviation leaders on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., to show a united front against aviation user fees. Bolen and other leaders–EAA president Tom Poberezny, AOPA president Phil Boyer, GAMA president Pete Bunce, Cessna chairman and CEO Jack Pelton and Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier–participated in a forum focusing on the Air Transport Association’s proposal to shift $2 billion of the airlines’ costs onto the general aviation segment through the implementation of user fees. “Shift costs, control the system–that’s at the heart of the ATA’s proposal,” Bolen said. “The bottom line is that user fees are a tax, and if we’re not vigilant the ATA will tax users out of the system.” The user-fee issue has arisen because next year Congress will consider a multi-year package for FAA funding and programs. The ATA, which lobbies for the airlines, is seeking to use the reauthorization process as an opportunity to change the way the FAA is funded to one based on user fees. General aviation currently pays for its use of the aviation system through fuel taxes, which NBAA said are simple to pay, efficient to collect and serve as an “effective proxy” of GA’s use of the aviation system.