American Corn Growers Join Alliance For Aviation Across
The number of professional organizations advocating against the
FAA's proposed fuel hikes and user fees grew by one this week, with
the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) joining the Alliance
for Aviation Across America's (AAAA) 2,400 members in opposing the
measure, reported Business XChange for Air Charter.
Said Larry Mitchell, chief executive of the Washington, DC-based
ACGA, "The FAA's plan to triple the tax on aviation fuel and its
proposal to impose so-called 'user fees' on farmers and small
businesses will be devastating to our rural economy." ACGA
represents 14,000 members in 35 states.
The 300 percent GA fuel tax increase, he added, will
significantly harm businesses, organizations, farms, and ranchers
that use small planes.
"User fees, part of the Bush administration's plan for the FAA
reauthorization, will directly offset a multi-billion-dollar tax
break for the airlines," he stated.
In addition, said Mitchell, the airline-backed bill also slashes
funding for the Essential Air Service Program and the Airport
"This eliminates funding for the Small Communities Air Service
Program, all of which are critical for the preservation of the
airports. In fact, the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee's Aviation Subcommittee estimates that approximately 300
airports would lose current grant funding under the new FAA
The Alliance for
Aviation Across America is more than a general aviation-related
alliance that opposes the FAA's funding plan, Mitchell said.
"Local officials, small business, rural and agricultural groups,
charitable organizations, community airports, as well as aviation
professionals have joined the alliance."
According to AAAA spokesperson Selena Shilad, "The coalition was
formed to fight the commercial airline-backed user-fee proposal
that imposes tax hikes on small businesses and towns across
America. In addition to ACGA, coalition members include the League
of Rural Voters; National Association of State Aviation Officials;
Air Care Alliance; National Farmers Union; National Agricultural
Aviation Association; National Business Aviation Association; Angel
Flight; AirCraft Owners and Pilots Association; and hundreds
of small and medium-size businesses from around the US."