The House Transportation Committee’s attempt at an FAA reauthorization and funding bill has received praise and backing from general aviation interests, but they warn that the fight for passage without user fees is far from over.
Despite heavy lobbying by general aviation groups, a promising effort to have the concept of user fees for ATC services stricken from the Senate’s version of an FAA reauthorization bill failed narrowly in mid-May by a 12-11 vote.
Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate aviation subcommittee, and ranking member Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) are expected to introduce an FAA reauthorization bill this week to counter one the Bush Administration released in February.
NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association are creating a joint working group to address the fuel tax provisions of the Highway Bill that was signed by the President earlier this month. “Of particular concern is that taxes on jet fuel will be assessed at the diesel fuel rate [24.4 cents per gallon instead of the 21.9-cent per-gallon jet fuel rate] and deposited into the Highway Trust Fund,” NBAA said.
Business aviation lobbyists yesterday applauded recent action taken by Republican lawmakers to shelve new tax rules in the 2005 Highway Bill designed to discourage truckers from using jet fuel to avoid higher taxes on diesel fuel. At the request of NBAA, NATA and GAMA, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Ark.), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) sent letters to U.S.
UK-based Twinjet has forged an alliance with Russian aerospace export agency Aviaexport to sell used business jets in Russia. While conceding that heavy taxes on the importation of foreign-built aircraft will make the sales task harder, Twinjet managing director John Keeble asserted that long-term prospects for the Russian market are promising.
If you buy, sell or operate aircraft in Europe and have been liable to EU value added tax (VAT), a chat with Lasse Rungholm could help you to save lots of money. You will find Rungholm by a beautifully maintained Beech 18 on the ramp, which OPM Aviation Services (OPMAS) acquired a month ago and flew here from its Aarhus, Denmark headquarters to publicize the company.
Canada's private, user-fee-based ATC system–Nav Canada–believes that general aviation operators are double-charged for use of Canada's aviation infrastructure and that fuel excise taxes should be reduced.
"Business aviation should support the shift to user fees," urged Reason Foundation director of transportation studies Robert Poole, "if it is part of a comprehensive reform of ATC." He said user fees would enable the costly switch to a "network-centric" (more technology-based) ATC system that in his view would offset increased costs with potential savings from increased flying efficiency and fewer delays.
As the FAA wrestles with how to generate a stable and predictable revenue stream to fund its operations, the head of the Air Transport Association (ATA) went before a Senate panel to request a one-year reprieve from the 4.3-cent federal tax on jet fuel.