Couldn’t sign the user fee petition? Here’s help

Deadline 5 p.m. CDT on May 11. – I’ve been receiving emails from readers who wanted to sign the petition against user fees, but couldn’t. Here is what I propose we do: If you send me the same registration information that was required, I will consolidate it and send it to President Obama.

Perhaps there are many of you who couldn’t register and voice your disagreement with the proposed aviation user fee. Perhaps there aren’t many. I don’t know. But I’ve never been afraid of work, so I propose to gather your information and send it on.

For those who tried but were unable to raise their voice against user fees using the White House website, please send me the following information — the same requested by the White House website: First name, last name, email address, and ZIP code. Send your information to with “User Fee Response” in the subject line. I will accept your information until 5 p.m. CDT on May 11.

I will draft a cover letter with an attachment containing your registration information. After I send the consolidated response to President Obama I will erase your personal information from my files.

Fly safe and be secure!

Dave Hook, an expert on general aviation security, is president of Planehook Aviation Services, LLC in San Antonio, Texas.


The White House again recently reiterated its commitment to imposing new user fees on general aviation in response to a call from 195 members of Congress to abandon the proposal as “the wrong approach” for GA to pay for its use of the aviation system.

According to a report at, Jeffrey D. Zients, White House acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), claimed in an April 10 letter that the White House’s proposed $100 per flight user fee – included in the Administration’s annual federal spending package, introduced earlier this year – would “generate an estimated $10 billion over 10 years, reducing the deficit and more equitably sharing the cost of aircraft traffic services.”

The OMB’s explanation came in response to a letter to the White House from Reps. Sam Graves (R-6-Mo) and John Barrow (D-12-Ga), co-chairs of the House General Aviation Caucus, and 193 other members of Congress.

“The White House’s response to Congress shows an intransigence on user fees that is not supported by reasoned policy and shows a lack of understanding of current aviation taxes,” said National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen. “In fact, studies conducted by government and industry have shown that, through the fuel tax, general aviation pays its fair share for the cost it imposes on the aviation system.

“Equally important, fuel taxes are an effective proxy for general aviation’s use of the system, because the more you fly, the more fuel you burn and the more taxes you pay. Fuel taxes as easy to pay – compliance is near total – and they are efficient for government to collect.”

Bolen noted that user fees would require the creation of a new collection bureaucracy, and that the fees would be administratively burdensome on operators.

The letter signed by 195 lawmakers also emphasized that general aviation is a vital industry, making important contributions to the U.S. economy.

“It’s unclear why the Administration would insist on imposing new fees on an industry that’s essential to citizens, companies and communities – especially in a still-challenging economy,” said Bolen. “General aviation contributes $150 billion in economic activity each year, adds to the nation’s balance of trade and generates and over 1 million jobs. The Administration should be championing this industry instead of singling it out for punitive policy proposals like this one.”

Janice Wood – General Aviation News