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No ATC User Fees Included In House Committee's FAA Reauthorization Bill

Proposal Includes Increases In Registration And Certification Fees

June 28, 2007 — he House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced its version of a FAA Reauthorization Proposal (H.R. 2881) late Wednesday without the inclusion of any user fees.

The bill now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee, with a recommendation to increase the current aviation gas tax from 19.3 cents per gallon to 24.1 cents per gallon and the Jet-A fuel tax rate from 21.8 cents per gallon to 30.7 cents per gallon.

The House bill does include FAA and EAA supported language regarding the release of information contained in abandoned type certificates. The language in the bill does contain some alterations that need to be evaluated but this is a good step in addressing the needs of vintage aircraft owners.

?This is a positive step in our efforts to prevent the establishment of a user fee system,? said EAA president Tom Poberezny. ?EAA is appreciative of the members of the House Aviation subcommittee who listened to general aviations concerns and responded in such a positive way.?

The House bill authorizes $13 billion for FAA Facilities and Equipment for implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. This is important as it reinforces the GA community?s contention that the FAA could move forward with the building of the next generation air transportation system without imposing user fees.

Not all the news is good, however. The bill would increase fees for various FAA services such as aircraft registration and certification fees. For example, the one-time, five-dollar fee to register an aircraft would increase to 130 dollars. The House is debating additional amendments and revisions to the bill today that could result in provisions that the White House has indicated would result in a veto. Your EAA staff is continuing its review of the bill and will provide additional information following that review as the House continues their work towards a final bill.

?This is a start, but we cannot rest with this news,? said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. ?Now that the House has not proposed user fees, the airlines will be redoubling their efforts to shift taxes to general aviation. In addition, the taxes and fees in this proposed bill will be debated by the House Finance Committee later this month."

Because the House and Senate versions of this bill will need to be negotiated in a conference committee, EAA asks each and every member to contact their Senator to ask that the Modernization Surcharge/User Fee be removed from the Senate FAA reauthorization proposal and to not eliminate or reduce the airlines' 4.3 cent fuel tax because of the damage this will due to the Trust Fund.

Lawrence added any letter should also ask the Senators to align with the house bill so that the future of general aviation can be secured. Additional information on this bill and future user fee action as well as a sample letter can be found on the user fee section of EAA web site.

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