The Missouri Legislature will soon consider House Bill 1443, a bill that affects pilots, aircraft owners, FBOs, flight schools, and airports throughout the state. The bill includes a provision to exempt air carriers headquartered within the state of Missouri from the current jet fuel tax. Passage of House Bill 1443 with the air carrier exemption provision in it will be devastating for general aviation and airports in Missouri. AOPA opposes the air carrier exemption provision in House Bill 1443 and urges all Missouri pilots and aircraft owners to act now.
This bill will negatively impact the planning, constructing, repairing, and maintaining of public-use airports in Missouri by significantly reducing funding available for airport maintenance and capital improvements. The aviation trust fund revenue in Missouri will be reduced by approximately $500,000 annually. Aviation trust fund revenues are used for airport planning, acquisition, construction and maintenance, a significant number of safety programs, weather systems, aircraft fire fighting and rescue training, air traffic towers, and aeronautical charts. Aviation trust fund revenue is also used for funding the state’s share or matching part of FAA AIP grants for airport improvements for public-use airports, especially small commercial and general aviation airports. The air carrier exemption in House Bill 1443 will undermine the state’s ability to do its job, which has been exemplary, especially since the jet fuel taxes were dedicated to aviation funding in 1998.
Pilots and owners are urged to contact their elected state senators and representatives, asking them to vote in opposition of the air carrier provision in House Bill 1443. Letters and faxes are most effective, but e-mail and phone contacts are useful too. First, please be sure that the first line of your letter clearly states that the letter is submitted in strong opposition to the air carrier provision in House Bill 1443. The bill number must be included. It is especially important to describe how the potential loss in state airport funding is important and affects you personally. Then describe how the loss in airport funding impacts businesses and airports in Missouri.
April 19, 2000