FAA funding debate: The quiet before a storm

October 11, 2007

FAA funding debate: The quiet before a storm

By AOPA ePublishing staff

It may be all quiet on the FAA funding front at the moment, but as AOPA President Phil Boyer said last week at AOPA Expo, "We're in the terminal area, but we're not yet cleared for the approach, and there's convective weather between us and the airport."

Shortly before the Columbus Day recess, the Senate passed an extension to the current FAA funding bill; the House had passed an extension earlier. That means the current aviation taxes, and the FAA's authority to spend money, have been extended until Nov. 16, giving Congress a little breathing room to come up with a new FAA funding bill.

The House has already passed its FAA funding bill, H.R.2881.

The Senate Finance Committee recently approved the tax provisions of the Senate bill (S.1300). It's similar to the House version and much more palatable to general aviation.

However, the $25-per-flight user fee on turbine-powered aircraft remains. The removal of that fee is essential to AOPA and the top priority when S.1300 goes to the floor of the Senate for a vote. But floor action hasn't been scheduled yet.

When the bill does come to the floor, AOPA will be contacting members to ask their senators to vote to remove the user fee - assuming an agreement to remove it cannot be reached.

October 11, 2007