AOPA is aggressively supporting a California bill that could help some general aviation airports improve their safety and security. Senate Bill 335 would dedicate $15 million annually through 2009 for security, safety, and capacity improvements at publicly owned general aviation airports. The money would come from the state's general fund and be derived from the current sales tax on general aviation jet fuel. The state's Division of Aeronautics already has identified a need for $120 million in airport improvements.
The bill follows recommendations made by the California Transportation Commission in 2001, 2003, and 2004. AOPA California Regional Representative John Pfeifer will testify next week before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.
"Sadly, the continuing fiscal problems in California have taken their toll on the state's general aviation infrastructure. In fact, over the past few years the state's historical support for transportation has been reversed and dedicated funds have been siphoned off for other purposes," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "S.B. 335 faces a tough legislative road, but it represents a great first step toward revitalizing the state's economy, particularly in smaller communities.
"Funding these GA airports directly supports the goal of moving people and goods more efficiently and enhancing the state's economic competitiveness," Cohen added.
March 29, 2005