Canadian User Fees Drop Four Percent

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As the debate heats up in Washington, D.C., over the imposition of user fees for general aviation aircraft, Canada's nonprofit, privatized air services provider Nav Canada has announced that the fees it charges will go down 4 percent across the board for at least a year. For the owner of a piston single, that means the annual fee will drop from $71 to $69. The overall annual revenue reduction to the company will be about $50 million. Nav Canada says cost control and an increase in air traffic combined for the rosy financial picture that allowed the reduction. And conspicuously included in the announcement is the reaffirmation that very light jets will be assessed the same movement and daily charges to which larger turbine aircraft are subject. Nav Canada had to change the rules to capture VLJs in those charges because a few of them are lighter than the three metric tonne (about 6,600 pounds) limit that was formerly in effect. The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) has vowed to fight the VLJ rule, but Nav Canada does not appear to be inclined to listen. COPA can appeal to the Canadian Transportation Agency to try to overturn the decision.