March 17, 2004
The Honorable Larry Householder
Speaker of the House
Ohio House of Representatives
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43266-0603
The Honorable Doug White
President of the Senate
Columbus, OH 43215
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is the world's largest aviation organization representing the interests of more than 400,000 members nationwide, including more than 14,000 Ohio residents.
AOPA's Ohio based pilots are disappointed that neither the House nor Senate has yet to address or correct the inequitable aircraft registration fee in the FY 2005-2006 Capital Reappropriations (SB 189).
The existing "one-size fits all" registration fee assessed to aircraft, where a two-seat Piper Cub pays the same fee as a jumbo jet, bears no relation to the impact that aircraft has on the state airport system.
With the passage of last year's budget, aircraft registration fees are now deposited into a state DOT-administered fund for the purpose of maintaining airport runway and taxiways. However, since Ohio adopted the flat fee, owners of small aircraft have experienced an 800% increase in state fees, while large jets have seen their fees reduced! Much like a heavy semi-truck on the interstate causes more pavement damage than a passenger vehicle, the same can be said for larger planes on airport paved surfaces.
On behalf of our 14,000 Ohio-based members, we seek your leadership and support for rectifying this unfair fee structure that discriminates against small general aviation aircraft owners. We look forward to working with you to keep the state's aviation system, and the thousands of jobs it supports, safe, efficient and cost-effective.