User Fees: What Your Fellow Members Are Saying
Some Hints For Owners Of Fat/Two-Place Ultralight
August 16, 2007 —Member response to EAA?s call to action for contacting Congress and urging opposition to user fees has been terrific. ?The entire aviation system doesn?t need to adopt a new and ill-advised business model just because the airline industry can?t make its own failed business models work,? writes a member via e-mail. ?They have shot themselves in the foot, and now they want to shoot general aviation in the head.? A number of EAA chapters including 46, 897, 1017, and 1279 are also going the extra mile by adding the ?No User Fees? message to their websites.
Now is the time!
Congress goes back into session on September 7, 2007, and EAA fully expects both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to begin final debate on the FAA Reauthorization Act. House bill 2881 does not contain general aviation user fees, while the Senate version, bill 1300, does.
Which bill will win? That is up to you, your family and friends, and your neighbors.
Now is the time to write your Congressional representatives and personally let them know how you feel about user fees and the impact they will have on your flying, your community, and your airport.
Write today - your letters must be on your Congressional leaders desk when they return from vacation! For more information, including sample letters you can customize to your particular situation, visit www.EAA.org/govt/.
Here are just a few samples of comments we?ve received:
User fees have proven time and again to be expensive, inefficient, and damaging to general aviation in every country in which they have been introduced. Canada, Germany, Australia, the U.K., the Netherlands, the Philippines, Austria, Israel, and many other nations have implemented user fees in one form or another ? all with disastrous results for their general aviation communities.
Kansas City, Missouri
User fees were implemented in Australia and General Aviation decreased 28% in only 4 years and will likely decline further.
User fees are something that every pilot should be concerned with. As we know flying already is expensive. If we add user fees, then just imagine the costs. Consider what you pay for training, fuel, insurance, charts, etc then add user fees. What you will get in return is less money to do what you enjoy: ?flying the plane.?
The entire aviation system doesn?t need to adopt a new and ill-advised business model just because the airline industry can?t make its own failed business models work. They have shot themselves in the foot, and now they want to shoot general aviation in the head.
Large aircraft impose a much higher burden than small general aviation aircraft on the airport infrastructure such as runway lengths, thickness of concrete to carry the loads, airport terminal size to handle large numbers of people, large fuel farms, and so on. Fuel consumption is an excellent measure of the overall impact of an aircraft since the more people you carry over a long distance, then more fuel the aircraft burns. I strongly urge you to oppose the regressive ?user fee? promoted by the airlines and the FAA and to support the continued use of the aviation fuel tax as the fairest method to fund our future aviation system.
I firmly believe you are doing everything in your power to represent us fairly and in a manner I approve of. However I am forced to write this letter as I see this GA fee structure to be the beginning of the end of General Aviation as we know it. You know as well as I do that something like this is always just the first step, in a few years the fees will be 2 to 3 times what is currently proposed. Plus the fact that small time flyers like me are finding it more and more difficult to maintain a place to fly, this just adds another layer of costs and bureaucracy to what already is a daunting chore.
If user fees become law I will be forced to curtail my flying due to the extreme increase in the cost of flying. All of general aviation will be hit hard and will dwindle to next to nothing for pilots such as I just as this has taken place in all the countries that have installed the "user fee" system of financing the airways.
Morro Bay, California