June 23, 2021

NBAA is urging Massachusetts legislators to reject a bill that would impose a $1,000 landing fee on virtually all general aviation operations, warning that the legislation would be devastating to the general aviation industry in the commonwealth.

In written testimony submitted to a legislative hearing this week, NBAA reminded the lawmakers of the job-creating power of general aviation aircraft in the state.

“Our industry, which includes all operations outside of the scheduled airlines and military, is vital to the 39 public-use airports across Massachusetts, and we are united in our opposition to Senate bill 2305,” NBAA said. “Unfortunately, the landing fee proposal overlooks the fact that airports in Massachusetts generate nearly 200,000 jobs and $25 billion in annual economic activity.”

NBAA said if the bill were to become law, Massachusetts would see many general aviation aircraft leave the state – along with good-paying jobs for maintenance professionals, flight instructors, airport staff, and others.

“While this legislation would impose a $1,000 landing fee on aircraft owners, the real damage will be done to hard-working professionals at community airports in Massachusetts,” NBAA said, pointing out that surrounding states such as Connecticut and New York would have a competitive advantage over Massachusetts if the fee was adopted.

The bill’s stated purpose is to “mitigate the climate impact of private and corporate air travel,” but NBAA countered that imposing a regressive landing fee won’t help advance the significant sustainability efforts that general aviation already has underway.

“We have set aggressive climate goals for the future, including carbon-neutral growth from 2050 and a 50% reduction in C02 emissions in 2050 relative to 2005 goals,” NBAA said in the testimony, adding that general aviation is making significant investments in sustainable aviation fuel, a low-carbon synthetic jet fuel derived from sustainable feedstocks. That fuel, which is available at airports today, reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel.

“General aviation is vital to the Massachusetts economy and this landing fee proposal would devastate our industry in the commonwealth,” said Scott O’Brien, NBAA’s senior director, public policy and advocacy. “While we understand that the bill sponsor and other legislators are hearing our concerns, we feel that going on record at this hearing to demonstrate all that general aviation is doing to create a sustainable future is critical.”

Added Brittany Davies, NBAA’s Northeast regional representative: “We appreciate all the work of the Massachusetts Airport Management Association, Massachusetts Business Aviation Association and other local partners to engage in such a well-coordinated opposition to Senate bill 2305. This successful effort shows the value of strong local and regional groups when business aviation is confronted with legislative challenges.”

Read NBAA’s full written testimony. (PDF)