Fee Proposal Riles AOPA

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As AVweb told you last week, the Government Accountability Office (yes, that's the new name) has recommended that the FAA start charging administration fees for the private contractors who perform about 90 percent of the pilot and aircraft certification functions of the agency. The GAO, in a report on the FAA's management oversight of these functions, suggests the extra fees could fund a more comprehensive and effective system of oversight. AOPA has chimed in. Any mention of new fees and flying is guaranteed to get the alphabets riled and we weren't disappointed this time around as AOPA vowed to fight their implementation. In a press release, AOPA spokesman Andy Cebula said there's no question whose pockets would be picked by such an initiative. "Ultimately, pilots would incur the cost of these recommended fees. Pilot examiners and inspectors would increase their prices to account for the added cost," Cebula said. But before we start making up protest signs and contacting our congressmen, remember that Congress recently passed legislation prohibiting the FAA from charging any new fees and a new law would have to be enacted before the charges could even be considered.