Airlines Keep Up User-Fee Offensive
ATA Chief Says Increased GA Fuel Taxes, User Fee Not Enough
February 19 , 2007 — Lest any recreational aviator wonders why EAA and other general aviation groups are vigorously opposing the FAA?s proposed budget bill, look no further than comments by the leader of the nation?s airline lobby.
Jim May, president of the Air Transport Association, called FAA?s reauthorization and funding proposals a ?good step forward.? May continued by saying that the current proposal, which includes a drastic increase in GA fuel taxes and creating a framework for future user fee charges, does not charge general aviation users enough in higher fees and taxes.
?ATA?s comments showed the airlines? true colors in the user-fee debate,? said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. ?A general aviation fuel tax increase of almost four-fold is not enough. Charging GA pilots for services that exist for the overwhelming, and often exclusive, benefit of airlines is not enough. It?s plain that although the airlines claim compassion for the individual aviator, they will not rest until they remove as much of their possible cost and throw it on the back of general aviation.?
EAA was pleased with the strong skepticism that met the plan during its first congressional hearing last week. Macnair, who was present at the hearing, noted that Republicans and Democrats all questioned FAA?s estimates of revenues and expenses, as well as whether the agency?s proposal would actually improve technology and efficiency within the nation?s air traffic system.
General aviation?s strong case opposing the Administration?s ill-conceived user fee proposal and what you can do to help defeat it is available at EAA?s special web section, "General Aviation United Against User Fees".