July 2007

Pre-2008 Archived Articles

User Fees – The Politics Continue – Better Get Involved

If you’ve never written the President, now’s a good time to start. That’s the message from House aviation subcommittee members as the FAA reauthorization bill moves through Capitol Hill. The subcommittee attended a somewhat sparsely attended public session at EAA AirVenture on Saturday, and Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., said that while user fees are big news in aviation circles, most senators and representatives are barely aware of the issue, as is the Administration. The House is likely to pass its version of the bill (H.R.2881), which does not include user fees or major tax breaks for the airlines. The Senate bill, S.1300, contains a $25-per-leg fee for all turbine-powered aircraft in the IFR system. It also eliminates fuel taxes paid by airlines, meaning the tax revenue from a cross-country trip for an airliner would drop from about $500 in fuel taxes to the flat $25. Most observers believe that the $25 fee would justify establishment of a billing and collection system that would be quickly put to work collecting new and expanded user fees on general aviation. The Administration is likely to back the Senate version of the bill, so it’s important that the President also know directly that there is widespread opposition to the user fee, according to Graves. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., the chairman of the subcommittee, said the FAA and administration are suggesting that implementation of user fees — while simultaneously cutting taxes to airlines — is the only way to pay for needed modernization of the airspace management system.

Pre-2008 Archived Articles

User Fees – The Politics Continue – Better Get Involved

If you’ve never written the President, now’s a good time to start. That’s the message from House aviation subcommittee members as the FAA reauthorization bill moves through Capitol Hill. The subcommittee attended a somewhat sparsely attended public session at EAA AirVenture on Saturday, and Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., said that while user fees are big news in aviation circles, most senators and representatives are barely aware of the issue, as is the Administration. The House is likely to pass its version of the bill (H.R.2881), which does not include user fees or major tax breaks for the airlines. The Senate bill, S.1300, contains a $25-per-leg fee for all turbine-powered aircraft in the IFR system. It also eliminates fuel taxes paid by airlines, meaning the tax revenue from a cross-country trip for an airliner would drop from about $500 in fuel taxes to the flat $25. Most observers believe that the $25 fee would justify establishment of a billing and collection system that would be quickly put to work collecting new and expanded user fees on general aviation. The Administration is likely to back the Senate version of the bill, so it’s important that the President also know directly that there is widespread opposition to the user fee, according to Graves. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., the chairman of the subcommittee, said the FAA and administration are suggesting that implementation of user fees — while simultaneously cutting taxes to airlines — is the only way to pay for needed modernization of the airspace management system.

Pre-2008 Archived Articles

The FAA Wants Your FSS feedback

Soon, managers at the FAA may have a vivid understanding of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” That?s because the agency this week said it has established a toll-free telephone number for pilots to comment on services they receive from Lockheed Martin flight service facilities. The number is 1-888-FLT-SRVC, or 1-888-358-7782.

Pre-2008 Archived Articles

The FAA Wants Your FSS feedback

Soon, managers at the FAA may have a vivid understanding of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” That?s because the agency this week said it has established a toll-free telephone number for pilots to comment on services they receive from Lockheed Martin flight service facilities. The number is 1-888-FLT-SRVC, or 1-888-358-7782.

Pre-2008 Archived Articles

User Fees – Blakley Shows Up at Oshkosh – Same Old Story

Outgoing FAA Administrator Marion Blakey gave one last pitch for the implementation of general aviation user fees at EAA AirVenture on Thursday. And a gracious capacity crowd attending the annual “Meet The Boss” session let her have her say. During her introduction, EAA President Tom Poberezny noted that the FAA reauthorization bill is before Congress and that means the debate at the grass roots level is over. But Blakey, who could have let the issue go, instead suggested that Congress’s failure to implement a “cost-based” system of revenue generation could result in blocks of airspace being closed to general aviation.