Lawmakers Oppose User Fee

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Opposition to a $100-per-operation user fee for business and commercial aircraft continues to mount among lawmakers. Last week, Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter to the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction saying the fee proposed by the administration is arbitrary and could hurt the aviation industry. "The president's proposed $100 per flight fee is an arbitrary number with no basis for its establishment," John Mica, R-Fla., said in the letter to deficit reduction committee. He said the current method of taxing aviation through fuel consumption is efficient and should be maintained. The National Business Aviation Association heartily endorsed Mica's letter.

NBAA President Ed Bolen said Congress, in various political stratifications, has examined user fees and consistently rejected them over the past five years. The current proposal would exempt recreational flights and those not using the system, and NBAA has vigorously battled the notion, saying it would require the creation of a fee-collecting system that would open the door to additional user fees. "This letter from House transportation leaders demonstrates a continued understanding in congress that per-flight user fees are a bad idea," Bolen said.