The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauded a letter from House Republican transportation leaders to the leaders of the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction opposing the Obama administration's proposed aviation per-flight user fee for deficit reduction.
"The president's proposed $100 per flight fee is an arbitrary number with no basis for its establishment," states the October 14 letter, sent by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Congressman John Mica (R-7-FL) and his Republican committee colleagues to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-5-TX) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the committee co-chairs.
"We strongly support the current aviation financing structure," the letter continues. "The President's proposed $100 per flight fee is an arbitrary number with no basis for its establishment. The FAA reauthorization proposal currently being pre-conferenced does not include new user fees for aviation."
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed the letter from the transportation leaders.
"Over the past five years, the idea of a per-flight fee is something Congress has thoroughly analyzed and rejected," Bolen said. "Elected officials have discussed the idea in a host of hearings on the subject, and lawmakers have weighed in on the matter when FAA reauthorization has been debated. Earlier this year, 116 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House emphasizing their opposition to the notion of user fees. This letter from House transportation leaders demonstrates a continued understanding in congress that per-flight user fees are a bad idea."
Bolen added that while NBAA and other general aviation organizations have made clear their readiness to help modernize the air traffic system, the proposed $100/flight fee jeopardizes the industry.
Instead of implementing a user fee for deficit reduction or aviation modernization, the industry has continually focused on building on the proven, efficient pay-at-the-pump fuel tax, efficient to collect, has nearly 100-percent compliance from aviation system users and serves as an accurate proxy for system use. "Per gallon fuel taxes work," Bolen said. "But per-flight taxes destroy."