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.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
The FAA has alerted AOPA to a spike in airspace penetration and violations of the Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area, particularly stemming from operations at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) in Leesburg, Va.
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