NBAA Gives Thumbs Up To House FAA Bill

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The House of Representatives FAA reauthorization legislation (H.R.2881) has been received with open arms by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), thanks to the bill's support for ATC modernization without aviation user fees. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen praised House leaders for understanding "that the aviation system must be modernized to meet capacity demands [and] that user fees shouldn't be mistaken for a modernization plan." In previous testimony before Congress, Bolen said user fees are costly for governments to administer, requiring a large, expensive bureaucracy. Additionally, NBAA said user fees come with an administrative burden for operators and cited International Air Transport Association reports that IATA members spend between $85 and $125 to process one invoice. The association said user fees can also be increased at any time to make up for declining revenue. "The fuel tax has none of these downfalls," Bolen said. "Users pay the tax at the pump, the government easily collects it, and it is a great reflection of the cost airplanes impose on the system. On top of all that, the fuel tax is environmentally friendly, because it encourages the development of cleaner, quieter engines."