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No GA User Fees in White House Budget Proposal
Unleaded avgas program retains funding in plan
February 5, 2015 – While much has been already written about the White House’s proposed FY 2015 federal budget, there are some items that are positive signs for general aviation.
One of the most notable is the lack of any proposal for GA user fees in the budget plan, something that had been regularly included in White House budget plans for more than a decade, regardless of the political party in power. Congress has uniformly turned away GA user fee proposals, understanding that fuel taxes currently assessed on GA pay for its segment of FAA operations and the National Airspace System.
Also included in the budget proposal is funding for continued research and progress on unleaded avgas through the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI). The $6 million funding – out of a $15.8 billion FAA budget – is specifically mentioned in the Department of Transportation’s summary of the budget proposal. The DOT notes PAFI research as important research and development activity, stating the funds will “support continued efforts and industry partnerships to transition from current aviation 100 low-lead fuel to an unleaded replacement that will have the least impact on the General Aviation Fleet.”
“The lack of GA user fees and continued funding of the important PAFI work are pieces of good news within the proposed budget,” said Doug Macnair, EAA’s vice president of government relations. “There are still many GA issues that are extremely important and will retain EAA’s focus in the coming year. Those topics will include aeromedical reform and FAA reauthorization, among others. EAA will remain vigilant in Washington to ensure freedoms for those who participate in and enjoy recreational aviation.”