AOPA Claims Victory On User Fees
... For now. AOPA has announced that a Sept. 23 bill passed by the House of Representatives extends the current taxes on fuel and airline tickets until April 2009. That means, according to AOPA, that "we can declare victory in the battle against user fees" and won't face the threat again until, maybe, April Fools' Day. The government has granted the FAA authority to spend $7.9 billion over the next six months to roughly match what appropriations the agency would likely have obtained through an actual funding bill, which the Sept. 23 legislation is not. BUT ... while the Senate quickly confirmed the House's bill, President Bush has yet to chime in with his approval. And, AOPA warns, neither of the presidential candidates who stand to inherit the user fee battle has specifically ruled out aviation user fees as a method of funding the FAA. Toward that end, AOPA is seeking on Nov. 4 "to return to power" those "friends in the House" who have fought against user fees so that it may start the fight anew, and in good company, with a new administration in 2009.