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GA United Against User Fees

Leaders Gather At GAMA, AOPA Events

EAA President Tom Poberezny speaks at the AOPA Expo on November 9.
(Photo courtesy of the Aero-News Network)

November 9, 2006 — General aviation reiterated its united stance against implementing user fees to fund the nation's air traffic control system this past week as organizational leaders participated in panel discussions at two West Coast GA events. EAA President Tom Poberezny joined NATA's Jim Coyne, NBAA's Ed Bolen, and AOPA's Phil Boyer at last weekend's General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Board meeting in Santa Barbara, California. GAMA President Pete Bunce and Cessna CEO Jack Pelton moderated the session. On Thursday, November 9, Poberezny, joined Bolen and Bunce at the AOPA Expo's opening general session, "User Fees: The Threat to GA," in Palm Springs, California. That standing-room-only event was hosted by Boyer and was attended by U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), who encouraged those in attendance to contact their congressional representatives and let them know your opinion on this important issue.

"The message is consistent across the board with what we all expressed at Oshkosh this summer and more recently, at NBAA" Poberezny said. "The airlines desire control of the air traffic control system and want to pay less for it. They intend for GA to make up the difference through user fees, which we find unacceptable."

GA sees the current method to fund the aviation trust fund--taxes on aviation fuel and airline passenger tickets--as the fairest, most equitable way to pay for ATC as well as modernization of the system. The current method is also generating record amounts for the trust fund.

"We are united as a general aviation community," Poberezny said following Thursday's session. "Our message that this issue affects all levels of GA has been very well received by the aviation community." Poberezny urges EAAers and all aviation enthusiasts to heed Congressman Graves' call to action and contact their elected officials to speak out against a user fee funding system.

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