Feb. 28, 2014

Four key congressmen have come together again ask President Obama to refrain from seeking new fees on commercial and general aviation operators.

“We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our strong opposition to any plan to impose a $100 per-flight fee on commercial and general aviation operators, “ Frank LoBiondo (R-2-NJ), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, Rick Larsen (D-2-WA), the ranking member of the subcommittee, and Sam Graves (R-6-MO) and John Barrow (D-12-GA), the co-chairmen of the House General Aviation Caucus, said in a Feb. 27 letter to the Obama administration.

The president has proposed such fees in three consecutive annual budget submissions to Congress, but has not achieved enactment of the measure because of strong opposition from the industry and elected representatives. The administration is scheduled to release its fiscal 2015 budget next week.

In their letter, the House members reminded Obama that last April, “223 members of the House of Representatives signed a bipartisan letter to you outlining our opposition to any such fee. Previous Republican and Democratic administrations have proposed such a fee, and it has always been repeatedly rejected by a broad bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives.

“Commercial and general aviation are vital to the economic well-being of the nation,” the letter said. “Aviation manufacturing and associated industries provide important American jobs and employment opportunity.”

The lawmakers told Obama, “Your continued support for any proposal to implement a per-flight fee on commercial and general aviation would only serve to undermine the strength of our aviation transportation system and the jobs that rely on this important segment of our nation’s economy. We respectfully request that you not advance such a proposal in your upcoming budget plan.”

In response to the letter, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen stressed the importance of such strong congressional opposition to the administration’s desire for user fees, saying that support has proven vital to defeating past efforts to impose similar levies.

“This latest letter from lawmakers underscores the fact that there is bipartisan opposition to user fees on Capitol Hill,” Bolen said. “NBAA will continue working with these and other leaders in Congress to support FAA funding and aviation system modernization without user fees for general aviation, so that our nation’s aviation system can remain the world’s largest, safest and most efficient.”

Review the lawmakers’ letter. (PDF)