Opposing Aviation User Fees

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Mayors' Letter Protests President's Proposed User Fees for GA

February 22, 2012

Proposed new user fees on general aviation, recently put forward in the annual federal budget proposal from the White House, were blasted last week by more than 100 mayors and city managers worried about their communities.

“These taxes would mean…an additional tax burden [and] a huge administrative burden on businesses, farms and organizations that use general aviation [GA],” the local officials told President Obama in a February 16 letter. Review the mayors’ letter to the White House.

The strongly worded letter was sent just days after the president proposed the new fees in his 2013 budget. The letter was released by the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of 5,700 individuals, businesses and organizations in and outside the GA community.

The 100 mayors and city managers who signed the letter reminded the president that most businesses and organizations using GA are small to mid-sized entities. “We can tell you firsthand that these aircraft are a crucial tool… for businesses in our communities,” the mayors said.

In the letter, the local officials also reiterated that GA aircraft and airports have been “a literal lifeline to our communities,” providing business growth, law enforcement, disaster relief, medical care and other services.”  Additional GA aircraft roles mentioned included their use in delivering blood and organs to rural communities, providing transport for returning veterans to reunite with their families and helping local companies to reach customers in markets not otherwise accessible.

All 100 city officials pledged to work with the president on vital community issues, including keeping the GA industry healthy, and said that government should be working to support jobs and help stimulate the economy rather than proposing crippling new fees and taxes on the industry. Their voice added to similar letters of concern from letters sent by the governors of Oklahoma and New Hampshire earlier this year.

“I think it’s encouraging that so many local officials understand the value of GA in their communities,” said Selena Shilad, director of AAAA. “It’s an overwhelming response.”

AAAA, founded in 2007, supports modernizing the nation’s aviation system, investing in GA airport improvements, retaining Essential Air Service and opposing user fees in any form. For more information, contact the Alliance at 202-223-9523 or at info@aviationacrossamerica.org.