User fees on pause

February 1, 2010

For the past year, AOPA and the general aviation community have made it clear that user fees are not the best way to fund the nation’s aviation system. That message was repeated loud-and-clear by aviation supporters in the House and Senate, including more than 100 members of Congress who declared that user fees would be a “non-starter.”

The budget proposal released Feb. 1 makes it evident that our voices were heard. Someone in the Obama administration decided to hit “pause” when they came to the aviation user fee option.

The decision not to include user fees in the 2011 budget is encouraging, and it allows all of us in the aviation community to focus on important priorities like air traffic control modernization, keeping airports open, and growing the pilot population. We are especially focused on any and all actions that will encourage the return to growth in the GA sector.

While AOPA is gratified that the Obama administration has heeded the GA community’s concerns, we remain vigilant to ensure the user fee idea remains on hold. We will continue to promote an agenda that supports GA today and into the future, while increasing our efforts to show opinion leaders and policymakers the value that GA delivers to all Americans.