April 4, 2013
By AOPA ePublishing staff
A record 223 members of Congress have stepped up to mount an attack against aviation user fees. The House members sent a letter to President Barack Obama April 5 stating that user fees are the “wrong approach.”
Their support comes in advance of the Obama administration’s budget proposal, scheduled to be released April 10, which is widely anticipated to once again call for $100-per-flight user fees for certain commercial and general aviation operations.
“Rarely do we see so many members of Congress so united on an issue,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “The message is loud and clear—user fees are the wrong way to fund our aviation system and Congress won’t support them.”
AOPA rallied its members in early March to contact their members of Congress to tell them user fees are a bad idea and to urge them to sign a letter opposing such fees.
The letter, spearheaded by House aviation subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and GA Caucus co-chairs Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.), states that Congress has rejected repeated attempts by this and previous administrations to impose user fees. It also points out that GA is vital to the U.S. economy, providing millions of jobs, and requests that Obama abandon the idea.
“We are grateful to all the members of Congress who stepped forward to protect aviation by signing this letter. And we are especially thankful to Representatives LoBiondo, Larsen, Graves, and Barrow for their strong bipartisan leadership on this issue,” Fuller added.
Find out if your congressman or congresswoman signed the “no user fee” letter and thank him or her for standing up for GA.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) talks about the Pilots Bill of Rights II, which includes a provision to allow private pilots to fly an aircraft with up to six seats, weighing up to 6,000 pounds, VFR or IFR, without a third class medical certificate. The bill also reforms the NOTAM system, and provides more legal protections for pilots accused of regulatory infractions.
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