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Fri, Jul 13, 2007

Alliance For Aviation Across America Appeals To Senate In User Fee Battle

Urges Finance Committee To Endorse House Approach To FAA Reauthorization

The House version is the one we want. That's the message the Alliance for Aviation Across America had for the Senate Finance Committee, following Thursday's hearing regarding reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“As the Senate Finance Committee considers their own proposal for FAA reauthorization in the coming weeks and months, we urge members to endorse the common-sense approach to modernization that has been put forth by members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee," the Alliance told ANN.

“[The House] legislation provides the FAA with historically high funding levels to achieve the goals of air traffic control modernization without a risky ‘user fee’ tax that would devastate small businesses and towns around the country that depend on small aircraft."

The Alliance opposes user fees, stating they require a bureaucracy to collect and impose such fees on operators. User fees on general aviation aircraft also endorse the misguided notion, the Alliance maintains, that a jetliner carrying 300 passengers should be taxed at the same amount as a small aircraft carrying five people.

"The big passenger airlines seek to justify this notion by spreading mistruths, as they have done recently with their new, misleading ad, that they pay for 94% of the air traffic control system, when FAA’s own data shows that they pay 77% of the revenues going into the fund," the Alliance notes. "Not only that, the FAA itself admits that the complex hub-and-spke system created for the commercial airlines drives the vast majority of air traffic control costs.

“Replacing the current 'pay at the pump' system with an inefficient tax that disproportionately targets small businesses and rural communities is not good policy, does nothing to support modernization, and creates a new layer of unnecessary bureaucracy," the Alliance concludes.

Members of the Alliance for Aviation Across America include: the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and several national, state, and local community associations.

FMI: www.aviationacrossamerica.org

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