The Iowa General Assembly has passed a bill that reestablishes the state's aviation fund, a fund that was abolished in 1999. AOPA President Phil Boyer has sent a letter urging Gov. Tom Vilsack to sign the bill. For months, AOPA worked to educate Iowa lawmakers about the importance of general aviation airports. The fund would be under the authority of the Department of Transportation and would consist of revenue collected through the annual aircraft registration fee, an avgas tax, and any other monies appropriated to the fund. Deposits from the annual registration fee would be phased in over two years, with 50 percent of fee collections going to the fund in fiscal year 2007, and all collections being deposited annually thereafter. The bill also appropriates $564,000 for operation and maintenance of Iowa's network of automated weather observation and data transfer systems as well as various aviation programs. Also included was an appropriation of $750,000 for infrastructure improvements at GA airports. Sens. Steve Kettering and Steve Warnstadt, as well as Rep. Jim Kurtenbach, all three of whom are pilots, were helpful in passing the bill.
May 12, 2006