With the aviation industry in agreement that user fees are a bad idea, the proposal nonetheless keeps getting floated by the Obama Administration, even despite tepid support for the concept from the leaders at the FAA.
On Wednesday, the alphabet groups had their day before Representative Sam Graves’ House small business committee, where business owners who operate airplanes testified about just how devastating a blow to GA a per-flight user fee model would be.
Testifying on behalf of NBAA, Martha King, co-founder of King Schools, told the committee that, “It is difficult to imagine how, at a time when a critical American industry is struggling the way general aviation is, people in Washington could be contemplating an onerous, regressive and administratively burdensome new, per-flight tax euphemistically called a ‘user fee.’”
King summed up her testimony nicely, stating simply that “user fees destroy” GA. Also testifying before congress were Marian Epps of Atlanta-based Epps Aviation, a full service aviation business — Epps spoke on behalf of NATA — and Brad Pierce, a businessman and light airplane operator who testified on behalf of AOPA. The message from Epps and Pierce was the same: user fees are bad policy.