Senators Introduce Anti-User-Fee Amendment

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An amendment striking user fees from the Senate's FAA reauthorization bill (S. 1300, introduced May 3) has yesterday been introduced by Senators Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and John Sununu, R-N.H. Currently, the funding bill seeks to establish a $25 per-flight user fee for turbine operations, according to NBAA. Language in the proposed amendment would remove the call for a per-flight user fee as part of the funding bill, and received praise from NBAA President Ed Bolen. "The amendment introduced today by Senators Nelson and Sununu is great news for businesses and towns across the country," Bolen said, "The general aviation community is deeply grateful." Bolen's organization in particular finds the proposal of equally applied fees regressive, citing that an international flight with 300 people aboard would be charged equally when compared to a single turboprop flight with four aboard serving a small rural community. In a release, yesterday, NBAA cited the bill's potential to legislate into reality a collection bureaucracy that would incur its own costs through maintenance and accounting while necessitating similar departments be created by operators, ensuring additional costs built around the cost of the fees themselves. In short, "NBAA and other general organizations look forward to working with these two senators, and the other supporters of their amendment, to ensure its passage."