Open Letter to Congressman Honda Regarding User Fees

To read Congressman Honda’s reply to my request to vote against the general aviation user fees, and my response click more below. Hint, it isn’t good news for GA…..Ed Dear Congressman Honda,

 

I believe you are misinformed. As an active General Aviation (GA) pilot I am well aware of the user fee system in both Europe and Canada. Both are dismal failures, and in each case, remain as major issues in the lack of GA growth. I respectfully suggest that you recheck the facts.

Are you aware that a recent Inspector General?s report on the FAA stated that the FAA doesn?t even know what its costs are? One has to ask how can the FAA create a user fee based scenario when they have no idea of what their costs are?

The costs transferred to GA pilots by the airlines represents more then a 300% increase in annual costs. What would your constituents say if their gasoline [tax] cost was raised from 19.4 cents to 70.1 cents a gallon per gallon? That is what pilots will pay in addition for fuel which is already far more expensive then autos, trucks, etc., not to mention the other outrageous increases.

GA already pays a significant amount of money in taxes, and this ill advised attempt by the airline industry to gain profit at GA?s expense will have a serious and detrimental effect on GA. If you check with Caltrans, you will find that aviation in California alone contributes over $328 million in various taxes annually.

I respectfully request that you spend more time to understand what these user fees mean to GA, before rubber stamping this very bad idea. I have attached the web sites of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association www.aopa.org and the National Business Aircraft Association www.nbaa.org so you can learn the other side of the argument.

You are in position to do the right thing here, and I request that you vote against this disaster. Congress must continue to oversee the FAA, not turn it over to the airline lobby. There is no proof that the FAA?s funding will come up short. There is however, proof that the airline lobby is winning their misinformation campaign.

Thank you for responding to me. I know you are a very busy man.

Respectfully,

Ed Rosiak
President- California Pilots Association

cc: Senator Feinstein
Senator Boxer
www.calpilots.org
AOPA
NBAA

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Dear Mr. Rosiak:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) user fees. I appreciate hearing from you, and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you know, the primary source of revenue for the aviation trust fund that support the FAA is the taxes imposed on passenger tickets. This is supplemented by fuel taxes paid by general aviation, cargo, and business jets. The FAA has long been considering a switch to a user tax system that you and many others in the aviation industry oppose. The user fee system is currently used in Europe and many believe that it would provide more revenue for FAA operations than the fuel tax and more fairly distribute the costs of maintaining the national airspace system between commercial and general aviation.

One serious concern raised by the opponents of user fees is that they would discourage pilots from utilizing common safety measures. For example, if a plane is taxed for its use of weather reports from the ground or other standard services, the pilots may choose to cut corners and forego those services in order to spare themselves or their company from the additional costs.

Fuel taxes, although currently utilized, remain a contentious means of raising revenue for the aviation industry as there is disagreement about how fairly the taxes reflect the use of the airspace system. I am concerned that imposing a user fee structure would create additional bureaucracy and unnecessary complications. However, if the FAA is going to be able to implement major initiatives to develop and deploy the Next Generation Air Transportation System by 2025, additional funding will be necessary. I know that my colleagues on the Transportation Committee are committed to finding a balanced, fair solution during the FAA reauthorization process. I will keep your concerns in mind as the reauthorization process moves forward.

Again, thank you very much for expressing your concerns about user fees. Your views help to shape the way that I represent our district.

Sincerely,
Mike Honda
Member of Congress

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