|Arizona pilots Paul Liford (left), Bill Neail, and Tom Hulme present Phil Boyer with a copy of the petition to Sen. McCain.|
|One of two restored Piper Apaches that will be on static display during the AOPA Fly-in June 3.|
Some 260 Arizona pilots have signed a petition to Sen. John McCain opposing user fees and supporting the appointment of AOPA President Phil Boyer to the FAA Management Advisor Council. AOPA members Bill Neail, Tom Hulme, and Paul Liford flew two beautifully restored Piper Apaches from Mesa, Arizona, to AOPA headquarters to present a copy of the petition to Boyer. (The 1958 and 1959 Apaches will be on static display at the AOPA Fly-In this Saturday, June 3. N3369P, Bill Neail's Apache, was featured in the August issue of AOPA Pilot magazine.)
"We gathered these signatures at the Mesa, Prescott, and Payson airports," said Bill Neail. "Not one pilot turned us down."
In their petition to Arizona's Sen. McCain (who is chairman of the U.S. Senate's Commerce Committee), the Arizona pilots say that the "federal excise fuel tax we pay when purchasing aviation fuel" is the proper way to fund aviation. They oppose user fees.
The petition further states, "We Arizona pilots have gathered together to show our full support of Phil Boyer. We know that Mr. Boyer is more than qualified to serve on the MAC, and know that he will best represent us and all of general aviation."
(During a recent confirmation hearing for MAC appointees, Sen. McCain told Boyer, "I seriously question your qualifications for this council." AOPA and McCain have disagreed about aviation user fees since 1995. The Management Advisory Council will advise the FAA on how to become more efficient.)
June 1, 2000