Geoff Hill, AEA, (816) 347-8400
Chris Dancy, AOPA, (301) 695-2159
Dick Knapinski, EAA, (920) 426-6523
Katie Pribyl, GAMA, (202) 393-1500
Matt Zuccaro, HAI, (703) 683-4646
John Cudahy, ICAS, (703) 401-1719
Eric Byer, NATA, (703) 845-9000
Henry Ogrodzinski, NASAO, (703) 417-1800
Dan Hubbard, NBAA, (202) 783-9360
WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 19, 2011 - The nation's leading general aviation (GA) associations today forcefully opposed user fees for GA flights proposed in President Barack Obama's proposal for addressing the nation's deficit and job crises.
The Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Helicopter Association International, the International Council of Air Shows, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, the National Air Transportation Association and the National Business Aviation Association jointly issued the following statement.
"As primary representatives of the general aviation community, we are expressing our unified opposition to the new $100 per flight tax in your proposal. We believe this per-flight tax not only imposes a significant new administrative burden on general aviation operators who currently pay through an efficient per-gallon fuel charge at the pump, but it will also necessitate the creation of a costly new federal collection bureaucracy.
"As you know, the issue of how general aviation can best contribute revenue to the federal government has been the subject of significant study and debate as part of the FAA reauthorization process. After careful consideration, both chambers of Congress have passed bills that endorse the per-gallon fuel charges rather than adopt a per-flight tax similar to the one you propose. In fact, Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives felt so strongly about this issue that 116 members of that body sent you a letter earlier this year saying new aviation charges like the one you are now proposing would be 'dead on arrival.'
"Mr. President, many foreign countries have imposed per-flight charges on general aviation and the results have been devastating. Please do not go down that dangerous path and cost jobs in our community.
"Per-gallon fuel charges work. Per-flight taxes destroy."
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Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including approved maintenance organizations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of aircraft electronics systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of aircraft electronics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.