Aviation Groups Unite To Fend Off User Fee Proposal

 - September 20, 2011, 11:18 AM

Nine general aviation organizations find themselves oddly aligned with the nation’s airlines in opposing President Obama’s call for a new $100 per-flight tax for turbine aircraft flying under IFR flight plans, part of his plan to address the nation’s deficit. The GA groups noted that many foreign countries have imposed per-flight charges on general aviation and “the results have been devastating.” Meanwhile, the Air Transport Association said Obama’s plan to hike aviation taxes would hurt economic recovery, further burden airlines and customers and cost jobs. According to the table in the proposal, the White House calculated that the per-flight fee would generate an estimated $11 billion over 10 years. Further, it said total charges collected from aviation users would finance roughly three-quarters of airport investments and ATC system costs. The Alliance for Aviation Across America urged Congress to reject the user fees “as it has repeatedly done to date,” and the GA associations reminded Obama that Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives felt so strongly about this issue that 116 members “sent you a letter earlier this year saying new aviation charges like the one you are now proposing would be ‘dead on arrival.’” Additionally, the proposal calls for closing the “corporate jet tax loophole,” which the White House calculates would save the federal government another $4.6 billion over 10 years.