As members of Congress are fond of saying when an onerous bill hits their desks, President Obama’s renewed call for a $100 user fee for turbine aircraft flights in “controlled” airspace probably will be “dead on arrival” on Capitol Hill. The per-flight user fee is included in the White House’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget of $3.8 trillion that was released on Thursday.
“Proposals from the White House are serious business–particularly if, like the user fee plan and the proposal to change aircraft depreciation in the President’s annual budget–they are designed to raise revenue,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “But White House proposals cannot become law unless they are approved by Congress.” Over the past several years, Bolen recalled, the general aviation community has worked with Congress to successfully beat back a number of “bad ideas” proposed by the White House.
For once, the airlines are standing with GA in opposing the levy. Airlines for America, which represents the air carriers, accused the Obama Administration of offsetting the budget deficit on the backs of airline customers. In addition to the $100-per-flight fee, it would triple the airline security tax to $7.50 for each one-way trip over the next five years.