Letters to Membership

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A Letter from Ed Bolen
NBAA President and CEO

February 2, 2010

Dear NBAA Member Representative,

I have always believed it is important to recognize significant events, and this week, our industry has reached an important milestone in our fight against user fees that is worth taking a moment to reflect upon.

Yesterday, the White House released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011. Unlike its previous budget proposal, the one the White House released yesterday does not call for a transition to aviation user fees. The fact that user fees are not part of the President's budget proposal shows the tremendous progress the business aviation community has made in our long campaign to defeat aviation user fees.

From the moment user fees were first proposed in March of 2006, NBAA members have demonstrated a willingness to mobilize and make our industry’s voice heard.

Many thousands of individuals from across the country have used NBAA's Contact Congress resource to tell elected officials that user fees would require a large bureaucracy to manage, and would impose a hidden administrative burden on small and mid-size businesses. Representatives from NBAA Member Companies have held meetings with lawmakers, and even testified in opposition to user fees before Congressional Committee hearings.

At the same time, the business aviation community has reiterated its support for funding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and modernizing the nation's aviation system. The best way for general aviation to contribute to those twin goals, NBAA Members have explained, is not to adopt foreign-style user fees, but instead to build upon the stable, reliable and efficient fuel tax mechanism for general aviation. After all, with fuel taxes, users pay the tax at the pump, the government easily collects the revenue, and the system serves as an effective proxy for the cost airplanes impose on the system.

The exclusion of user fees from the White House budget demonstrates that our community can mobilize and make a difference. It shows that when NBAA Members work through our Association to make concerns known, policymakers will listen.

Looking to the future, it may be too early to know whether or not yesterday's proposal from the White House represents a permanent policy position. What we do know for certain, however, is that our industry must keep making its voice heard on this and other issues. I look forward to working with you to do just that.


Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association