No New User
Fees In FY2011 Budget For General Aviation
February 2, 2010
–"When it comes to the long-standing battle over user fees, it appears
that today, we have reached an important and welcome milestone," said
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "The fact that user fees are not part
of the President's 2011 budget proposal shows the tremendous progress we
have made over the past year." The National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA) welcomed the Obama Administration's Fiscal Year 2011
(FY2011) federal budget proposal, which does not include new user fees
for general aviation.
Bolen noted that
the Obama Administration's previous budget proposal, which was
introduced last February, contained an important provision that read,
"Starting in 2011, the Budget proposes to replace some aviation excise
taxes with direct user charges." The President's new budget proposal
does not contain similar language.
"The proposal introduced by the White House today stands in clear contrast to language we saw last year," Bolen continued. "Our community, which has been so energized and mobilized by the user fee threat, should be heartened by this news.
"Like the Administration, the general aviation community supports full
funding for the FAA and modernization of the nation's aviation system,"
Bolen said. "But our industry has been united in opposing calls for user
fees, which require a large bureaucracy to manage, and would impose a
hidden administrative burden on the many small and mid-size businesses
that rely on an airplane to succeed.
"Instead of adopting foreign-style user fees, NBAA and its Members have
been very aggressive in promoting the wisdom of building upon the
stable, reliable and efficient fuel tax mechanism for general aviation
to help fund aviation system modernization," Bolen said. He noted that
with fuel taxes, users pay the tax at the pump, the government easily
collects the revenue, and the system serves as an effective proxy for
the cost airplanes impose on the system. "On top of all that, the fuel
tax is environmentally friendly, because it encourages the development
of cleaner, quieter and more efficient engines," Bolen added.
"We commend the
Administration for its focus on aviation modernization, and we look
forward to working with officials to expedite the transformation to the
Next Generation Air Traffic Control System," Bolen said.
removal of user fees from the Administration's FY2011 budget, Bolen said
that ongoing vigilance and grassroots mobilization by NBAA's Members
would be needed to ensure that
"Whether or not
this is an indication of a permanent policy shift on user fees, or a
one-time development remains to be determined," Bolen said. "What we do
know for certain is that our industry must continue to make its voice
heard on this and other issues."
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