NBAA Member Testifies on User Fees


According to NBAA member and Manitoba Recycling CEO Richard Shine, the user fee plans advocated by airlines and the FAA would be devastating to small and medium-sized companies nationwide. In testimony last Thursday before the Senate aviation subcommittee on energy, natural resources and infrastructure, he said, “I represent a small business that operates a turboprop airplane to help my company survive, and my story is not unique. The general aviation community … supports modernization of our aviation system, and is willing to help pay for it. But we want to pay at the pump – not through user fees or new taxes. The fuel tax is a simple, proven and efficient way to measure and pay for system use for operators like me.” Shine said an airplane, in his case a turbine-powered Mitsubishi MU-2, “has been the secret to our success. You don’t often hear about companies like mine in discussions of business aviation.”

He then relayed to the subcommittee his personal experience with NavCanada’s user-fee system: “Several weeks after a flight, NavCanada’s bureaucracy sends me an invoice. If I’ve made multiple flights I get multiple invoices. I need to fill out a purchase order, cut a check, and put the check and the invoice back in the mail to NavCanada. Obviously, this imposes a significant, and hidden, administrative cost to my business.” Manitoba then asked the subcommittee members, “Why anyone would want to put this kind of burden on businesses like mine, when we already have a better and more efficient system in place?”