Wed, May 16, 2007
Effort To Strike User Fees From Committee's
FAA Funding Bill Narrowly Defeated
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 05.16.07 1900 EDT: An
uphill effort to completely eliminate user fees from an FAA funding
proposal came within one vote of succeeding Wednesday afternoon.
That news is discouraging for general aviation advocates, who had
hoped passage of the amendment would have driven the final nail in
the coffin on user fees... but National Business Aviation
Administration president Ed Bolen put a positive spin on the
vote, noting opposition to user fees is strong and
"This remarkable vote shows that opposition to the per-flight
user fee is growing among Senators from both sides of the aisle,
who are coming to share our concerns about this user fee," Bolen
Members of the Senate Commerce Committee voted on an amendment
introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and John Sununu (R-NH)
that would strike proposed language calling for a per-flight user
fee as part of the Committee's "reauthorization," or funding
proposal for the FAA.
The tally on the anti-user fee amendment was tied 11-11 before a
final vote was cast.
Bolen said the razor-thin margin for the vote adds momentum to
the fight against user fees. He thanked Senators who voted against
user fees by supporting the Nelson/Sununu amendment.
"We have some real champions for our cause, and we are picking
up key supporters in this fight," Bolen said.
"The general aviation community recognizes the need for
modernization of the aviation system so that it remains the world's
largest, safest and most efficient," Bolen continued. "But we also
know that user fees represent a step in the wrong direction because
they would be very harmful to small and mid-sized businesses and
rural communities across the country.
"We look forward to working with everyone on the Commerce
Committee in support of modernization efforts that support all
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