GA Versus Airlines At Aero Club User-Fee Debate

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AOPA President Phil Boyer faced off with James May of the Air Transport Association (ATA) on Tuesday at the Washington, D.C., Aero Club in a debate about the pending FAA reauthorization legislation. May questioned why Boyer was opposing the Senate bill that would require a $25 user fee for turbine aircraft flying in the IFR system and exempt piston aircraft. "Our only concern is the introduction of a user fee to any segment of aviation, whether it be $5 or $25," said Boyer. "Even if it were just the airlines [paying user fees], to put that structure in place would be a slippery slope." May said he is fine with exempting piston aircraft. "My beef quite frankly is with the corporate jets. I'm just trying to find a little balance from some folks who can easily afford to pay their fair share." A video of the entire debate can be watched online at AOPA's Web site.