NBAA staff members met with officials at the Italian embassy in Washington last week to explain the negative effect that a recently enacted business aircraft tax could have on commerce between Italy and the U.S. The new tax, which imposes a levy on all civil aircraft that spend more than 48 hours on the ground in Italy, could total more than $393,630 annually for aircraft weighing more than 22,046 pounds, NBAA said.
“The tax was originally intended to apply to Italian-registered aircraft only. But then officials became concerned that Italian aircraft owners would re-register their airplanes in other countries,” said NBAA operations service group project manager Scott O’Brien. “So they applied it to all aircraft, regardless of nationality.”
As a result of the new civil aviation tax, the Olbia business terminal in Sardinia has experienced significant cancellations, according to NBAA research, and handlers are reporting a decrease in activity at Florence and Venice. Meanwhile, Milan airport officials said business aircraft are repositioning to nearby countries as a direct result of Italy’s new tax.
NBAA has suggested a number of possible solutions to lessen the impact of the aviation tax, including extending the allowance period from 48 hours to 45 days or more. NBAA’s current advice to operators: “Don’t spend more than 48 hours on the ground in Italy right now…[and] document what time you do spend on the ground there.”