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Sun, Apr 27, 2008

AOPA Welcomes Senate Action To Move FAA Reauthorization Forward

Boyer Says "We're On Final Approach" To Funding

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association welcomed the news of Senate action on FAA reauthorization, following months of inaction on the part of lawmakers.

"We’re on final approach to an FAA funding bill in the Senate," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, "and we finally got clearance because of the support and determination of AOPA members who were willing to accept a tax increase, if truly necessary, to support a modernized air traffic control system, but stood rock solid against user fees."

As ANN reported, late in the afternoon on April 25 the leaders of the Senate Finance and Commerce committees announced they had resolved their different approaches to FAA funding and were ready to present a final bill to the full Senate on Monday afternoon.

If the bill is approved by the full Senate, it is expected to keep avgas taxes at the current rate of 19.3 cents per gallon, but increase jet fuel taxes to 36 from 21.8 cents per gallon.

There would be no change in the taxes on airlines... and no user fees for GA pilots.

"While many worked behind the scenes to make this happen, we give special acknowledgment to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Commerce aviation subcommittee Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) along with Finance Ranking Member Chuck Grassely (R-IA) and aviation subcommittee Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) who worked together for the benefit of all aviation," said Boyer. "Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) also played a pivotal role on the Finance Committee."

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will hold a cloture vote Monday at 1730 EDT on the bill.



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