AOPA: FAA Aircraft "Re-Registration" Equals User Fee?
AOPA says a three-year aircraft "re-registration" requirement proposed by the FAA may replace the current one-time $5 registration fee with a $130 fee to be paid every three years as a hidden user fee. The FAA's proposal is based on the goal of bringing the U.S. aircraft registry up-to-date and the "re-registration" requirement would replace the current triennial registration report. The FAA recognizes that the current aircraft registration fee of $5 hasn't been changed since the mid-1960s and no longer aligns with the FAA's costs to provide services, according to the FAA. The gray area, according to AOPA, lies in determining and applying the costs associated with updating a registry that has deteriorated over time. "Aircraft re-registration hasn't been required for three decades," writes AOPA, and now "nearly one third of the 343,000 U.S. aircraft registrations are possibly invalid." Re-registration, whatever the cost, would require aircraft owners to return a renewal notice with updated information (or reply online) within a three-month window.
Early responses would not be allowed and late responses would be penalized by inability to fly the aircraft until it was re-registered. The full proposal is long, but the FAA is seeking comments through May 28. Find the text online, here. The methods of response are listed under "Addresses" near the beginning of the text.