Aviation groups have come out in unified opposition against an Obama Administration proposal to begin charging a $100-per-flight fee to corporate jets and other turbine-powered airplanes that use U.S. air traffic services.
About two-thirds of the ATC system is paid for by aviation excise taxes, including taxes on airline tickets and aviation fuel. Last year those taxes raised $10.8 billion, according to the Department of Transportation. The White House says its per-flight user fee would raise an estimated $11 billion over 10 years. The plan is being submitted to the 12-member congressional committee charged with finding ways to trim the deficit.
“General aviation users currently pay a fuel tax, but this revenue does not cover their fair-share use of air traffic services,” the White House plan says.
Nine aviation trade groups including NBAA, AOPA, EAA and GAMA have banded together to oppose the president’s proposal. “Mr. President, many foreign countries have imposed per-flight charges on general aviation and the results have been devastating,” the groups wrote in a joint statement. “Please do not go down the dangerous path and cost jobs in our community.”
General aviation pilots pay for ATC services with fuel taxes. A user fee would create “a costly new federal collection bureaucracy,” the groups added.
Military, public service, air ambulance, GA piston and VFR flights would not be subjected to the $100 fee.