GA Will Continue To Pay at the Pump in FY08

 - February 6, 2007, 10:51 AM

The Bush Administration is requesting $14.1 billion to run the FAA in Fiscal Year 2008 (beginning October 1), with general aviation–and in particular business aviation–continuing to pay fuel taxes as opposed to user fees as its share of operating the agency. “General aviation feels it is administratively much simpler paying at the pump,” FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said yesterday when the FY2008 budget was unveiled. “The use of fuel is a very close approximation of use of the system.” But she warned there will be an increase in the fuel taxes. She characterized that change as “shifting costs, not increasing costs.” While Blakey declined to provide specifics until details of the funding proposal are released next week, she let slip that business aviation (including on-demand Part 135) will be paying “for the most part” through fuel taxes, but also on its use of the ATC system and use of airports. She added that GA makes more use of the system (11 percent) than it pays (3 percent). While the budget proposal document says that “user fees would be collected from commercial operators,” Blakey said that “commercial” refers only to Part 121. The FAA would also be able to “charge all users a fee” for operating in “most congested airspace.”