...ATA: User Fees The Best Method...

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May said a system of user fees is the most equitable way to assess ATC charges. "The best proxy for use of the system itself is user fees," he said. Five days earlier, at AOPA Expo in Tampa, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta said he didn't favor user fees for general aviation. However, he didn't define GA and that's where he and May might find some common ground. May said he doesn't believe non-business flights should be assessed the ATC fees his group is proposing. "Somewhere you have to draw the line," he said, suggesting that personal use of aircraft would be exempt from the fees. May said that based on the number of aircraft in operation, fractional operator NetJets is actually the second-largest carrier in the U.S. He said ATA is unconcerned how the fees are collected, as long as they add up to a representative share of the cost of operating the system. AOPA has adamantly opposed user fees for GA aircraft and considers business aircraft to be under the GA umbrella.