Genav Groups Pan Obama’s Aviation User-fee Proposal

AINalerts » April 11, 2013
April 11, 2013, 3:30 PM

As expected, President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, released yesterday, includes a proposed aviation user fee–just as previous budgets have since 2007 when the Bush Administration first floated the idea. A passage on page 43 of the budget reads, “To reduce the deficit and more equitably share the cost of air traffic services across the aviation user community, the budget proposes to create a $100-per-flight fee, payable to the FAA, by aviation operators who fly in controlled [U.S.] airspace.” Piston, military, public and air ambulance aircraft, as well as Canada-to-Canada flights, would be exempt.

According to the White House, this fee would generate an estimated $7.3 billion over 10 years, which “would finance roughly three-fourths of airport investments and air traffic control system costs.”

Aviation alphabet groups quickly panned the user-fee proposal. “It is unfortunate that the constant negative rhetoric about business aviation from the White House has once again translated into an onerous policy position, this time in the President’s newest budget proposal,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said. Like other general aviation groups, NBAA supports generating FAA revenues through existing aviation fuel taxes.

“The President’s budget is more of the same for general aviation: more fees, more taxes and more attacks on the industry,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “General aviation manufacturers are a key contributor to exports and economic growth. The Obama Administration needs to focus on substantive policies and refrain from divisive rhetoric that undermines this important industry.”

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Daniel Reed
on April 12, 2013 - 2:58pm

The most recent proposal is just more "foot in the door" garbage. "Piston, military, public and air ambulance aircraft, as well as Canada-to Canada flights, would be exempt." Yeah, right (until we're not watching).

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Lyle Peterson
on April 12, 2013 - 3:07pm

What is doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result a sign of?

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Travis
on April 12, 2013 - 3:18pm

All this as the Federal Government is raking in record setting sums of money...can't spend less just desire more and more (power)!

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Derrell
on April 12, 2013 - 4:13pm

I wonder how much of the $730,000,000 of annual savings could be recouped if we just cut first-family global junkets for birthday parties and group vacations (etc) with the accompanying security presence or/and the massive presidential presence/personnel requirements at international events requiring a matching air fleet and multiple hotels/vehicles/security to service them? Just wondering...

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Mac
on April 12, 2013 - 5:09pm

I've been a pilot for almost 50 years. I own three aircraft.

I speak from experience, and a reasonable, rational perspective. I am not a "Welfare Mom" and find it repulsive that other users of airports and the air traffic control system seek to perpetuate the current system of almost free services (fuel taxes don't begin to cover the costs) supported by other, non-user taxpayers. Don't include me in your "Welfare Pilots and Aircraft Owners" group lobby. I'm happy to pay my own way! Any person of character, integrity and honesty should WANT to pay his own way.

I don't expect the government, i.e., other taxpayers, to pay for my personal choice of transportation. If you can't afford $100 per flight to fly a turbine aircraft, you shouldn't be flying it. If you even notice an extra $100 per flight (it's way down in the noise level) to fly a turbine aircraft, you can't afford it. If it's that important to you, throttle back a little, you'll save the $100 in a few minutes.

Buck up and be proud to pay for yourself and quit sucking off the government teat. That's exactly what got us into this budget mess in the first place--people expecting the government to give them a free ride. Thank you very much, I'll pay for myself!

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Chris
on April 12, 2013 - 7:01pm

So if GA would finance roughly three-fourths of airport investments and air traffic control system costs, what would the airlines pay? Who chooses which airport investments? My Airport just had new runway and Taxiway lights. You know a 24” piece of tubing with a 1.5 pound light. These are attached to a 24” in diameter block of concrete 60” into the ground. A house foundation in my area must be to a depth of 42”. Our government does not care how much they spend as long as they can send the bill someone else.

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P Gallina
on April 12, 2013 - 8:10pm

Back in the 90's there was more than enough money in the banks that had been collected from pilots & aircraft. Unfortunately, in the wisdom of our government, the money was stolen to add to other areas of government. Because of actions like these, the government is poor mouthing & trying to use the excuse on, we need more! The fuel, oil, hangers & aviation businesses are taxed heavily. Why would the government tax any more? Oh, that's right, to just fill up the aviation account & then spend our earned money on other areas.
The government has already burdened the industry with thinking a pilot needs hundreds of hours more than necessary to fly as a first officer. So please explain why anyone would trust a bunch of guys, who have different insurance benifits, their own type of retirement, & have no idea how the struggling pilot or company lives?
Yes I believe in paying my share, but stop flying 747's all over the sky at 25,000 or more an hour on my tax dollar. This is addressed to both political parties. As you decide my fate, put the 747 money in the bank and show good faith as an American.

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bernster
on April 12, 2013 - 9:00pm

This is mostly to Mac. I've been a pilot for over 50 years and also have multiple aircraft. I am being taxed to death already and resent it. If you fell so strongly about the 100.00 give it to them. I won't. They have already proven they can't manage anything they are in charge of. Giving this incompetent bunch of idiots any more money is insane. They are the most self serving group this planet has ever seen. I don't suck off the government, I supply them with a lot of the money they waste and will NOT give them any more if I can help it.

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Roger
on April 13, 2013 - 12:14am

Sure, I don't care if they tax the turbine drivers ... but "Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me."

Once the foot is in the door, GA will be dead, just as has happened in other countries. Taxes on the fuel won't be mitigated even if we pay "per use", resulting in significant cost increases for an already expensive "hobby".

The airlines serving the masses and generating the most use of the system while taking home their subsidized profits won't pay their fair share in this system. Maybe it should be a "per aircraft passenger" fee?

If this starts, it will merely create more govt. bloat that will consume a major proportion of the "new revenue" ... and kill GA, from which commercial aviation was born. Change can be good, but this kind of change is negative.

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Jeffrey
on April 13, 2013 - 11:05am

This comment is to the "Mac's" of the world. Perhaps we should charge a $100 fee for driving on the interstate freeway system too? Clearly as an individual you are not paying your "fair share" to use the system. Do you look at the NOAA web site to get weather information? Perhaps we can charge a fee for that too. We subsidize Amtrak and the railroads, lets charge the passengers the real cost for their tickets. How about airline passengers? The cost charged for TSA and security does not even begin to cover the actual cost to provide safety. How about bus passengers? We subsidize every one of those tickets too. The truth be told, many of the things we enjoy are already paid for by our taxes....everyones! There will always be things that don't benefit us personally, but help the country as a whole. Lastly, many GA airplanes would never use any air traffic services if it we not for the airline industry. If we look back at history, they are the reason we have "airspace" tons of regulations, and the whole approach/departure and radar system is because of a private for profit industry. Think about that. GA already "pays" for the amount of the system it uses both in fuel tax and with individual income tax. You say this new tax does not apply to GA now. Everyone reading this knows some day it will. I have never seen a tax go away, or go down in my lifetime.

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Art
on April 13, 2013 - 11:56pm

We already pay in advance. We pay our fuel taxes and, if demonstrated necessary, are willing to raise them. Airplanes don't leave the ground without fuel in the tanks, that tax has been forwarded on to the government to squander er spend as they see fit on aviation (or for whatever they think they can get away with).

We do not need a second IRS to collect aviation "per use" taxes when we already have a per use tax sitting in our fuel tanks waiting our next use. An agency which will likely cost at least half, if not much more than any revenue they do manage to collect, and will be fraught with errors when they write down the wrong N-number on the billing ticket.

I've been a pilot for over 30 years and I'm sure I've paid for the use of a few aviation services the 40,000 or so gallons of GA fuel I've burned in my career. Not to mention I rent hangar, tiedown space and contribute to the maintenance, of a public use, private airfield.

No Avatar
Art
on April 13, 2013 - 11:56pm

We already pay in advance. We pay our fuel taxes and, if demonstrated necessary, are willing to raise them. Airplanes don't leave the ground without fuel in the tanks, that tax has been forwarded on to the government to squander er spend as they see fit on aviation (or for whatever they think they can get away with).

We do not need a second IRS to collect aviation "per use" taxes when we already have a per use tax sitting in our fuel tanks waiting our next use. An agency which will likely cost at least half, if not much more than any revenue they do manage to collect, and will be fraught with errors when they write down the wrong N-number on the billing ticket.

I've been a pilot for over 30 years and I'm sure I've paid for the use of a few aviation services the 40,000 or so gallons of GA fuel I've burned in my career. Not to mention I rent hangar, tiedown space and contribute to the maintenance, of a public use, private airfield.

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