The Michigan Legislature has under its consideration two important bills that affect pilots, aircraft owners, FBOs, flight schools, and airports throughout the state. These two bills will dedicate a significant amount of the revenue derived from existing sales tax on aviation products directly to the state aeronautics fund. These funds will be used to improve Michigan's airport system. The bills supplement the existing revenue to the state aeronautics fund from fuel sales and aircraft registration fees. AOPA strongly supports Senate Bill 1194 and Senate Bill 1195 and urges all Michigan pilots and aircraft owners to act now.
These important proposals would provide Michigan airports the required funding to address their needs for the next 20 years. According to the 2000 Michigan Airport System Plan (MASP), the cost of keeping Michigan's airport system running safely and efficiently through 2020 is estimated at $115 million per year. Without the additional funding as proposed by Senate Bill 1194 and 1195, state funding will be short approximately $37 million annually. The additional funds provided by Senate Bill 1194 and 1195 are needed to preserve endangered airports, address current deficiencies, bring airports within standards, and preserve and expand airport infrastructure. Furthermore, the availability of state funds for airport development is directly linked to the state's ability to acquire federal funds through the matching process as part of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and leverage local and private airport funding as well.
Pilots and owners are urged to contact the governor's office and urge Governor Engler to support these aviation funding initiatives. 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 support of Senate Bill 1194 and Senate Bill 1195 and dedicated aviation funding. It is especially important to describe how the increase in state airport funding is important and affects you personally. Then describe how dedicated aviation funding will help build strong businesses and airports in Michigan.
August 14, 2000