General Aviation Counterattacks Airline Tax Plan

 - January 8, 2007, 10:32 AM

Leaders of three general aviation organizations went on the offensive yesterday in response to an Air Transport Association plan that would place a tax (read user fees) on the number of “departures” and “time in system” and give the airlines the most influence among ATC system stakeholders. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen; General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce; and National Air Transportation Association president Jim Coyne emphasized in a telephone conference with reporters that GA should continue to pay for FAA services through the current fuel tax system. If GA must pay a larger proportion of the cost of operating, maintaining and modernizing the National Airspace System, said Bolen, it should be through an increase in fuel taxes. Coyne added that some members of Congress don’t want to turn control of the ATC system over to an airline cartel and then face the political consequences of that in the future “when the public gets subjected to the typical treatment that cartels have always given their customers.”