AOPA joined with other aviation organizations at an Aerospace and Aviation Day event at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis to press policymakers to strengthen state aviation funding by dedicating aviation taxes raised in the state to the support of airports.
AOPA, the Aviation Association of Indiana, the Indiana Aerospace and Defense Council, and other industry advocates met with the lawmakers Jan. 20. Also that day, state aviation policy was in the forefront during a quarterly meeting of the Aviation Association of Indiana attended by U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), an AOPA member and a strong general aviation advocate in Congress.
Indiana’s aviation infrastructure is aging while construction costs are rising and competition for reduced federal airport support is intensifying, said Bryan Budds, AOPA Great Lakes regional manager. Meanwhile, aviation taxes raised in the state are not dedicated to maintaining the state aviation infrastructure even though the industry has an annual $14.1 billion impact on the economy and supports 69,000 jobs with a payroll of $4.1 billion.
Redirecting existing aviation aircraft sales taxes and the 10-cents-per-gallon excise tax levied on aviation fuel to a dedicated aviation fund would make it possible for Indiana to fund its 5-percent share of projects enabled by federal airport improvement grants. Indiana also could fund grant-ineligible projects, Budds said, adding that creating the dedicated fund would improve system planning by ensuring a predictable and sustainable future funding source.
“AOPA is proud to partner with the Aviation Association of Indiana and Indiana’s aerospace companies to tell the story of just how vital aviation is to the State,” Budds said. “We look forward to continuing the discussion into the remainder of the legislative session and for years to come.”