AOPA is supporting a Washington State bill that would save many pilots time and money. The bill would eliminate a $15 annual pilot registration fee while raising the current 10-cent per gallon excise tax on aviation fuel to 11 cents.
"For our core members, this measure appears to make great sense," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Pilots will save time and money because they no longer will have to register each year, and it is more efficient for the state to support GA airports."
The federal government already certifies and registers all pilots.
Even with the one-penny excise tax increase, most pilots will save money. For example, the average fuel burn for many single-engine aircraft is 10 gph. That means a pilot would have to fly more than 150 hours a year for the net cost of the fuel tax increase to exceed the current $15 pilot registration fee. The average single-engine aircraft is flown a little more than 100 hours a year.
The bill, Substitute Senate Bill 5414, also would generate more money to improve general aviation airports because the funds would go to the state's Aviation Division. The bill has overwhelmingly passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House Transportation Committee.
March 24, 2005