Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) are taking action to gut user fees from the Senate FAA funding bill. But they're going to need help from AOPA members in certain states before Wednesday afternoon.
That's when the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on the Aviation Investment and Modernization Act of 2007 (S.1300), which includes a $25 per flight user fee to go into an air traffic control modernization fund. Sens. Nelson and Sununu have prepared an amendment that would eliminate that user fee from the bill.
"Even though piston-engine aircraft would be exempt from this fee, AOPA is still adamantly opposed to it on principle," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We know, based on our experience from around the world, that this small fee will ultimately expand and include all segments of aviation. Our members have emphatically told us we cannot allow a user fee precedent to be established."
And that's why it is critical that AOPA members in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, or Washington contact your senators. The senators are members of the Commerce Committee. Urge them to vote for the Nelson/Sununu amendment:
"Please call or fax right now," said Boyer. "Your fellow pilots are counting on you. And if you can't get through, please keep trying. Use your redial button until it wears out!"
May 15, 2007