The White House Fiscal Year 2015 budget, released today, yet again includes a $100-per-flight user fee for air traffic services, with exemptions for military, public and piston aircraft, as well as air ambulances, aircraft operating outside controlled airspace and Canada-to-Canada flights. According to the White House, “The revenues generated by the surcharge would be deposited into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
A record 223 members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter to President Obama opposing his continued support of a $100-per-flight fee on commercial and general aviation. “Aviation user fees have been proposed in your last two budgets and Congress rejected them,” the letter said. “Aviation user fees have been proposed by different Administrations, both Republican and Democrat, and again Congress has repeatedly and overwhelmingly rejected them.”
Grassroots representatives from NBAA, AOPA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) have told U.S. lawmakers that user fees in any form would be “devastating” to the general aviation community. They were giving evidence at a hearing of the House Small Business Committee yesterday.
“The costs associated with user fees far outweigh any benefit to deficit reduction,” said NATA treasurer Marian Epps, whose family operates Epps Aviation in Atlanta.