Senators Tell White House to Ax User Fees Proposal

After nearly 200 members of Congress sent a signed letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday, March 1, expressing opposition to the president’s proposed $100 per flight fee on commercial and general aviation in the 2013 budget proposal, 28 U.S. senators sent the same message to the White House on Monday, March 12.

In the letter, the senators told the president that bipartisan passage of the comprehensive, multi-year FAA reauthorization bill was "in part because it did not assess new user fees on general aviation (GA)." The letter was circulated by Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), co-chairs of the Senate GA Caucus.

“The AEA commends members of Congress in both the House and Senate for expressing strong opposition to new user fees,” said Paula Derks, AEA president. “It is discouraging that the White House continues to propose user fees. Imposing such a scheme would stifle the industry, as has been the case in other countries with user fees in place.”

The sentiment from the Senate echoed the House version of a similar letter to the president earlier this month. A bipartisan group of 195 House members told the president that “Commercial and general aviation, including aviation manufacturing, are vital industries to our nation, providing millions of jobs and making important contributions to our economy. We should work together to support policies that encourage job growth and strengthen U.S. economic activity. Imposing a $100 per flight fee on commercial and general aviation is the wrong approach, and we respectfully request that you abandon this idea once and for all.”