AOPA's Lobbying Against User Fees Gathers Steam

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AOPA says it's added two more influential politicians to what it says is a growing list of legislators who are opposed to FAA user fees. At a "town hall meeting" in San Diego last week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) (a pilot and AOPA member) said via video presentation that he opposes fees. "If a general aviation user fee is what the FAA has in mind, they won't get my support," Issa is quoted by AOPA as saying. Meanwhile, AOPA is continuing to question the FAA's justification for a wholesale change to its funding mechanism. AOPA's government affairs specialist Andy Cebula was in Kansas City, Mo., talking to state aviation and FAA officials about the Airport and Airways Trust Fund, which is the major source of funding for the FAA. The agency has said the trust fund, based largely on airline ticket taxes, is in trouble due to declining airfares. But AOPA is among several groups questioning that assertion (airfares have gone up in the last year and more people than ever are flying). "The fact is there is no funding crisis justifying the implementation of user fees on general aviation," said Cebula. "We crunched the data. The money is there."