RACCA, HAI Joins Ranks Against User Fees

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The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) and Helicopter Association International (HAI) recently joined ranks with other aviation groups to take a stand against the FAA's proposed change to a system funded by user fees. In a statement to members of Congress, RACCA said the proposal would triple the fuel taxes paid by its members. The group also said the cost of collecting new fees for GA operations and services would be prohibitive. "If implemented, the proposal puts the FAA in the position of being a tax collector, diluting its mandated focus on aviation safety issues," according to RACCA. Meanwhile, last week at Heli-Expo HAI President Matthew Zuccaro said his organization is "strenuously opposed" to the FAA's user-fee proposal, charging that the fourfold fuel tax increase and other additional untold fees are "not acceptable." He was most puzzled by "the FAA's math, where general aviation will pay more but the overall revenue is less." Zuccaro also pointed out that helicopters don't use services at the level of other aircraft; for example, he said helicopters can use heliports, which have far lower infrastructure and operating costs than airports. Thus, he maintains that helicopter operators would pay a disproportionally larger share under the FAA's proposed user-fee system.