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AOPA warns user fee proposal could cripple GA Association pledges to work with Congress, GA community to oppose fees

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Obama once again targets the aviation industry. This is for general aviation pilots. Today, the White House released a budget proposal which includes a $100-per-flight user fee. (m.aopa.org) Altro...

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grahbag
grahbag 10
I'm sure if you asked Obama, he'd tell you those evil rich people who fly airplanes need to pay their fair share! The good news is it's his last term in office, and the budget likely won't pass. He hasn't passed a budget yet so why start now?
blake1023
blake1023 2
Obama can't even budget White House Tours; much less the FAA!
jclark12345
That is actually Congress's fault, but it still doesn't make sense to impose user fees and eliminate controllers. Infrastructure should always be the last thing to go.
pilot62
What in the hell do you expect flight schools and students paying their own way to do with ANY more fees... 25 for Single - !! COME ON
2moons
I just want to continue to fly going for my private pilot certificate.. I stress enough already figuring out how to pay for lessons without adding more charges into the mix....A hundred dollars almost pays for a plane and an
instructor for an hour in a 172 G1000. Remember...I said almost! I have wanted to fly my entire life....maybe a tax for breathing wil be next afterall.
fofoss
fern bonet 7
I live in a country that cannot control its spending and wants even more of my money!! What's next, a breathing tax?
clabo
Don't give those scumbags any ideas. You may very well get hit with a "carbon tax" just for the "privilege" of breathing...
Bernie20910
I'm sure if the govt doesn't then Ryanair will be happy to charge you a pressurization fee.
JetMech24
JetMech24 2
You live in a country that keeps putting Democrats and Republicans in office.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 1
Who do you prefer? The Tea Party Group? They are the ones that want to minimize or eliminate the Federal Government. Then where are you going to get the money to pay for the controllers, much less disaster relief (FEMA), the post office, military etc.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 8
The entire budget is a joke, written by clowns.
specialized36k
I encourage individuals to go to AOPA's website and participate in the GA survey. To help get the word across to the government about the potential effects of the proposed budget. It is worth the time in my opinion.
bcb28bcb
Has everybody forgotten we already pay a tax! We are taxed on every gallon of Avgas and jet fuel we buy and use. The Federal Government should earmark the taxes paid on aviation fuels to pay for GA and commercial airports.

Another reason airports are so expensive to operate is have you ever looked at how many people are employed by cities and counties throughout the country? While some of the smaller airports that are uncontrolled may not have this problem the mid-size airports do.
I have gone into the airports admin office and found people just "sitting around putting in their time" and not getting anything accomplished. Also, GA airports should raise enough revenue to cover the expenses to operate the airport but should they making a profit, after all it is a public service.

When you have people that run our airports that do not own planes or fly of even have a pilots license how can you think they have our best interest at heart. They are just administrators, looking at the bottom line, with out a clue as to what pilots and aircraft owners want or need.

If the current administration wanted to kick start the economy why not cut back on the federal taxes on all fuels and maybe the local governments could do the same... but I do not think this will ever happen because it is way too large of a cash cow for them.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Now there's the germ of an idea.
Lawyers have to pass the Bar
Doctors have to pass their Boards.
How about a requirment that someone who runs an airport is required to pass exams to obtain a pilot's license.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
In government jobs it's mostly who you know, not what you know. Lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Those germs
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Would you prefer gremlins of an idea?
budai2
Com on Gentlemen! Like the sequestration, and many more like that,it isn't Obama's fault or his order, but the underlings of his. You can't blame him for them!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
The HMFIC takes the blame. That's the way it works.
budai2
He IS blameles!!!(Or they make it so!)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Blameless, brainless, clueless, shameless, or just LESS ?
macinsd
Wm MacLeod 2
OK Chicken Littles, lets get this right.
First, aviation user fee proposals started with the Bush Administration, not the Obama administration.
Second, it would only apply to turbine powered aircraft, with exceptions even for that category for air ambulance, public a/c, etc.
Read the proposal before making uninformed comments.
Essentially, it would be a fee of only $100 per flight applied to corporate and private jets.
If the $100 fee would apply to you, and you are upset about it, you can't afford to be flying in that type of plane.
pfp217
pfp217 2
Some of us "Chicken Littles" were responding to a proposition by another poster, and it was hypothetical. He proposed a $100 fee for single engine pistons and that is what we were Chicken Littling.
macinsd
Wm MacLeod 1
User fees are a reasonable approach.

I've been a pilot for almost 50 years. I own three aircraft.

I speak from experience, and a reasonable, rational perspective. I am not a "Welfare Mom" and find it repulsive that other users of airports and the air traffic control system seek to perpetuate the current system of almost free services (fuel taxes don't begin to cover the costs) supported by other, non-user taxpayers. Don't include me in your "Welfare Pilots and Aircraft Owners" group lobby. I'm happy to pay my own way! Any person of character, integrity and honesty should WANT to pay his own way.

I don't expect the government, i.e., other taxpayers, to pay for my personal choice of transportation. If you can't afford $100 per flight to fly a turbine aircraft, you shouldn't be flying it. If you even notice an extra $100 per flight (it's way down in the noise level) to fly a turbine aircraft, you can't afford it. If it's that important to you, throttle back a little, you'll save the $100 in a few minutes.

Buck up and be proud to pay for yourself and quit sucking off the government teat. That's exactly what got us into this budget mess in the first place--people expecting the government to give them a free ride. Thank you very much, I'll pay for myself!
blake1023
blake1023 3
To the owner of three airplanes. Why don't you pay $100 per flight right now? if you love it so much.

Do you honestly believe a $100 per flight on Corporate jets is going to solve anything? So they impose user fees. The FAA will still be broke, control towers will still be closed. Its the whole idea of creating more bureaucracy that wouldn't even pay for itself!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Right on sir!
blake1023
blake1023 2
For someone whos been a pilot for 50 years. You should know this industry is already bureaucratic enough!! That might be the reason why the Feds are broke.... Just a thought.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
He has 3 aircraft, he should be paying $300!!!
bojo16
The fee will be applied to all turbine aircraft not just expensive private jets. A turbine Bonanza or 210 will also have to pay it. In the future there will be more small turbine aircraft as the piston fleet becomes too old to fly or there is no longer 100 LL available, so it will affect a great part of general aviation. The $100 fee does apply to me, I can afford it, and I have every right to be upset about it.
macinsd
Wm MacLeod 0
What is your per hour total cost to fly your plane? Is a $100 spread over the cost of an entire flight to pay for airport and air traffic control services really that much of an impact to you?!
Be happy we have such services available to us and be even happier to pay your share to use them.
ethepilot
It can really impact the cost of a trip. We operate a TBM for a small company who operates both long and short trips. Our DOC is about $500 per hour. A lot of the trips are only .2 or .3 on the hobbs. (We use the plane to visit outlying locations to provide medical care. Use of the plane lets the visiting Dr. see as many as 10-15 more patients vs. driving.)The $100 fee would almost be more than the cost of operating the plane. Then another $100 for the .2 on the return trip. Now if you take into account the landing fee, ramp fee, facility fee which can run $250 combined plus the tax we pay on the fuel and then throw another $100 on top of that, it starts to add up.

Our company is small and lies in the medical field. Nobody we fly is in the Gulfstream set. In fact the sequestration has just kicked in and now provides 2% less in Medicare reimbursements across the board. Gov't has slowed the company's growth and now wants to impose more fees. The argument isn't that we can''t afford the fees, it is how the fees affect the little guy. We fly about 400 legs a year, will that $40,000 mean the lack of new equipment, one less new hire, or do they get disgusted, sell the plane and put a pilot out of work? Meanwhile affecting home base fuel sales and tax revenue.

There is more to it than "if you fly turbine, you can afford it".
ltcjra
ltcjra 0
Please post a link to confirm your statement. Why would AOPA take the lead opposing the budget item and not the business aviation group? I cannot afford Dubai vacations but I find a way to enjoy them. I cannot afford tickets to the national championship football game, but I find a way to cheer for my team from the stands. I cannot afford tickets to see some great musical groups, but I find a way to attend concerts. I think I know what you meant with your last sentence, but, it rubs me the wrong way. We all fly because we love it, not matter what our financial status in life. It is expensive, but we aviation lovers find a way to make flying happen. None of us need the USG to add more expense to flying when they are a main reason flying is expensive (and frivolous lawsuits).
macinsd
Wm MacLeod 0
Do a little research and confirm this for yourself. You will not only see this is correct, but you should become much more enlightened about the whole issue along the way.

It has been obvious for some time now that Craig Fuller, and by extension, AOPA is in bed with the National Business Aircraft Association the (NBAA). If you have been following the opposition to the user fee debate for awhile it would be clear. Appearances together, joint statements, etc. I can only guess this is because they feel the need to be unified in their aviation lobby efforts. Fuller has been parroting everything NBAA has said with regard to this issue, in spite of the fact that he is clearly aware that the user fee proposal would affect a minuscule number of AOPA members, probably only 1 or 2 percent.

He continues to boost, as does NBAA, the fuel tax as a source of revenue to raise the funds necessary to support general aviation. I have seen a few analyses of how much the fuel tax would need to be raised to equal the amount generated by the "corporate jet" user fee. It is pretty extreme and would most impact the very people (small aircraft general aviation) that he is rallying to fight against the user fee.

Folks, you are being conned, big time, into believing that the user fee on turbine (jets) aircraft would affect you. It would not. But increasing the fuel tax to raise the funds instead, would affect you. A whole bunch every time you put fuel in your plane. We are not talking a few extra pennies per gallon here, we are talking about $.60 to $.75 per gallon.

Fuller has announced he is leaving AOPA. I'd be willing to bet that he will next show up in some NBAA related role.
macinsd
Wm MacLeod 0
Do a little research and confirm this for yourself. You will not only see this is correct, but you should become much more enlightened about the whole issue along the way.

It has been obvious for some time now that Craig Fuller, and by extension, AOPA is in bed with the National Business Aircraft Association the (NBAA). If you have been following the opposition to the user fee debate for awhile it would be clear. Appearances together, joint statements, etc. I can only guess this is because they feel the need to be unified in their aviation lobby efforts. Fuller has been parroting everything NBAA has said with regard to this issue, in spite of the fact that he is clearly aware that the user fee proposal would affect a minuscule number of AOPA members, probably only 1 or 2 percent.

He continues to boost, as does NBAA, the fuel tax as a source of revenue to raise the funds necessary to support general aviation. I have seen a few analyses of how much the fuel tax would need to be raised to equal the amount generated by the "corporate jet" user fee. It is pretty extreme and would most impact the very people (small aircraft general aviation) that he is rallying to fight against the user fee.

Folks, you are being conned, big time, into believing that the user fee on turbine (jets) aircraft would affect you. It would not. But increasing the fuel tax to raise the funds instead, would affect you. A whole bunch every time you put fuel in your plane. We are not talking a few extra pennies per gallon here, we are talking about $.60 to $.75 per gallon.

Fuller has announced he is leaving AOPA. I'd be willing to bet that he will next show up in some NBAA related role.
FlyByWire128
Tom Weber 1
Irrespective of the debate over whether or not GA should pay a greater share into the National Airspace System, the idea of implementing a user fee in addition to the gas tax is inefficient.

An increase in the gas tax adds revenue at no cost. It doesn't take more tax collectors to carry away more money. Every extra dollar I would pay would go directly to funding the NAS.

An additional user fee would require a department/agency/office/systems to ensure that revenues are collected. This is guaranteed to cost more than $0, which means that for each extra dollar I pay, some of it goes to fund the NAS, and some of it goes to fund the system to collect my dollar.

Even if a user fee system were to REPLACE the gas tax, I find it hard to believe that the agency/system to ensure the fees are collected would cost less than the agency/system that currently ensures that gas taxes are collected.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
No matter which side you support user fees will kill aviation as we know it and airports will close by the hundreds Re: Europe. . In the interim those of us capable will fly out of uncontrolled to uncontrolled airports VFR with technology that makes it safe and avoid the system entirely. That will work for a short while until the tax man figures it out. At that point flying freedom is doomed except for the rich. IMHO.
hiflier32
ric lang 1
I'm all for it! Perhaps this may be a way our idiot Pres and his bullshit user wife may finance yet another outrageous "vacation" for these two and their kids.....AF 1 uses a lot of gas, and the chase plane carrying his car and a hundred assorted security guards don't come cheap...........A great day for America!
jahender18
jahender18 1
If you think you are exempt from user fees take a look down the road if this door is opened. Government will grow, only a small percentage will go to our NAS, and increases will be needed to support a new system.
andriy17
aviation is a true American heritage, these "leaders" must be anti-American!
ahmjr
ahmjr 1
Washington from time to time forgets WHO MAKES THIS COUNTRY TICK like as well oiled machine.
Here's yet another reminder... GA!
jahender18
jahender18 1
PAY AT THE PUMPS!!! You can generate the same income without ANY increase overhead. It is not broke so don't fix it. We don't need an increase in overhead.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The point is that they don't need additional revenue. They are supposed to CUT spending. That's the idea of closing towers.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

pfp217
pfp217 4
So $25 a VFR flight is appropriate? I rent an airplane for $100 bucks an hour, which I know is a steal. I fly at an uncontrolled field. Why should I have to pay anything? But it's not about me... I live closer to an airport with a tower on field. There are several businesses that give instruction. I think their aircraft are in the $125 ballpark and hour. So we're just going to jump it up another 25 bucks?

While I'm on a diatribe, why does the multi piston pay anymore? That extra engine is no more workload to the controller, and many times is a kid trying to build multi time so he/she can make a career out of it. They can't afford it as it is let alone additional fees!

To be fair in all this, lets throw toll booths in the name of user fees on every interstate and highway...
drdisque
My proposal has nothing to do with workload and everything to do with ability/willingness to pay. GA aircraft currently pay virtually nothing for the ATC infrastructure they use. My "proposal" is to divvy up the costs in a way where it sits on those aircraft most willing to pay for it. Would you be in favor of a fee structure that only applied to IFR?
ltcjra
ltcjra 6
Ben, we are already paying taxes to use the ATC system and for airports.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 5
Where does aviation fuel taxes go to???
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
To build Windmills!
pfp217
pfp217 2
That was going to be my reply as well.. just like with ground based vehicles, fuel tax goes to the infrastructure, and in our case ATC services.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
So how much of a fuel-tax increase would be needed to hide the $100/flight fee into the gas pump and eliminate the bureaucracy needed to collect and process said fee.
"The goal of taxation is to maximize the down collected while minimizing the pecks from the goose."
blake1023
blake1023 1
Ben, GA does pay its "fair share"

http://www.jetsalesofstuart.com/pdf/nbaa_taxreport.pdf
ltcjra
ltcjra 4
Ben, I disagree with you. GA should not pay fees. We do not fly for profit. A company in our city runs a radio commercial that says every dollar spent here turns over 15 times. But if I have to pay more money to fly than I already spend, I will have to stop. Local businesses will suffer. There are ways to get money for the USG without adding an aviation fee. And you must know another USG bureaucracy will be formed to collect the fees! Until the USG stops giving away money to nation's that don't support us, and gives away money to people that keeps them from working, I should not have to pay for the right to fly.
blake1023
blake1023 1
Right and how are you going to in force the fees? Are you going to have some FAA inspector, with a stupid hat, a badge, and a clipboard, patrolling the ramp area, making sure the flight student who took out student loans to fly pays his fee to do touch and goes; all because they’re using a precious ATC service.
sundervenkat
I do not support the current administration views and actions on GA. Wait till many aspiring pilots gain enough hours out of non-towered airports and apply for jobs at airlines flying in controlled airspace and towered airports. I will not fly with any of them. I would rather not fly at all in the interest of safety than fly out of non-towered airports. AOPA member since 1996.
macinsd
Wm MacLeod 2
It is unfortunate that one must be so blunt, but you have revealed that you know absolutely nothing about flight training, flying and aviation.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 3
What the hell does a non towered field have to do with a pilot's ability???
Seems to me, you shouldn't be flying !!!
My son learned to fly at an uncontrolled field, he picks me up at TEB when I'm done working. TEB is an extremely busy GA airport, my son has 175 hours total time!!!
sundervenkat
Not your call mate. My opinion.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
You state you've been an AOPA member since 1996, you're contradicting what they stand for.

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