Aviation User Fees Are Still Not Dead

 - January 17, 2012, 3:45 PM
The Obama Administration rejected a petition to take aviation user fees off the table, instead arguing that a $100 per flight fee is necessary to fund the ATC system.

In the wake of the White House response to an online petition opposing President Obama’s $100-per-flight fee proposal, AOPA is calling on its members to contribute to its Political Action Committee “to help our friends in Congress.” Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the 400,000-plus-member organization, issued a stark warning that the White House proposal “must be defeated if general aviation as we know it is to survive in the years to come.” To win this fight, he warned, “[W]e’re going to need a huge amount of help from our friends in Congress.” The White House reaffirmed last week the Obama Administration’s commitment to its proposal to levy on turbine aircraft a $100-per-flight fee for use of air traffic services, claiming the fee would both “ensure that everyone is paying their fair share” and help reduce the deficit. The petition, which gathered about 9,000 names, pointed out that the existing system of collecting revenue through fuel taxes allows more of that money to go toward operating the ATC system. “We can’t expect…elected officials to go to bat for our cause if we can’t help them in the next election,” Fuller declared.