Pistons, Bizjets, A Confusing Mix With User Fees

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Transportation Norm Mineta added fuel to the fire on Tuesday morning when he emphatically told a House Appropriations Committee that no user fees on GA are under consideration (see AOPA's Web site for a video of his statement). Questions were raised at yesterday's press conference -- whether he meant piston aircraft only, as opposed to all segments of GA, which would include business jets. "It's a confusing situation," said Coyne yesterday. But he added that there is unanimous opposition among all segments of GA. "AOPA and EAA also are united against user fees," he said. Even if the FAA fees were to focus on bizjets and let the smaller operators off the hook, they know better than to think they wouldn't be next in line. "It's a Pandora's box," he said. Canada's system was cited as a precautionary tale. "GA in Canada have to pay both user fees and fuel taxes," Coyne said.