User-fee Fight Might Be the Toughest Yet

 - January 17, 2007, 4:13 AM

Business aviation interests have been victorious in their battles over the years to prevent the creation of general aviation user fees to replace the current fuel tax to pay for its share of ATC services. But at last week’s NBAA Convention, business aviation trade group leaders warned that this time the battle could be the toughest yet. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said the airlines are advocating a system in which all aircraft pay the same fee regardless of size, whether it is a turboprop single or a 555-passenger Airbus A380. As illogical as that might sound, Bolen noted, “That idea is gaining some traction [in Washington, D.C.].” While Bolen pledged that NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association would continue to keep fighting in Washington for business aviation, he added, “We need strong grassroots participation from everyone involved in business aviation.”