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AOPA collaborates, pilots benefit

The Maryland Aviation Council (MAC) is working with AOPA to improve conditions for pilots in the state through an extension on tax exemption legislation and a pilot survey.

Photo by Chris Rose.

MAC has been a valuable champion for general aviation and a close partner of AOPA for years.

“The council provides a forum where representatives of airports, aviation businesses and organizations, governments, and aviators can exchange information, ideas, and professional expertise,” MAC describes its mission and objectives. “We believe a well informed, active council can provide elected officials and policy makers with information necessary for the passage of sound legislation beneficial to aviation and airports.”

In 2020, AOPA and MAC worked together extensively to promote—and eventually pass—a five-year bill that provided a sales and use tax exemption on aircraft parts and equipment. This year the two groups have banded together again to seek an extension for the exemption with companion bills (H.B.557/S.B.574) until 2030.

The bills, both of which have passed the general assembly successfully and await a signature from Gov. Wes Moore, are eagerly anticipated by pilots and aviation industry groups, as extending the life of the exemption would help Maryland remain competitive among neighboring states that all provide similar exemptions. Additionally, the legislation would improve the self-sufficiency of public airports across the state, increase the number of aviation maintenance-related jobs in Maryland, and help keep the cost of aircraft ownership in check.

“The aviation community wishes to thank Delegate Chris Adams and Senator Paul Corderman for sponsoring this important legislation,” said AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins. “Without their support and leadership on extending these targeted exemptions, Maryland would effectively be charging a six-percent penalty to anyone doing maintenance-related business in the state. Instead, the passage of these bills will ensure that Maryland’s airports remain competitive across the region.”

MAC is also pursuing improvements for pilots in the state through engagement and feedback from local pilots.

In early April, MAC launched a survey for Maryland-based pilots to identify issues they are facing—with a plan to use the results of the survey to create action plans to address these concerns. The survey takes approximately five minutes and gives pilots the opportunity to comment on issues such as leaded versus unleaded fuel; hangar availability and cost; the availability of maintenance, aircraft rentals, and flight instruction; and restricted airspace.

In turn, information from the MAC survey will also be used to bolster efforts related to an AOPA survey hosted for the Maryland Aviation Administration for the purpose of boosting funding for airports and hangars.

The MAC survey will close on May 31, and outcomes will be shared at the MAC Regional Aviation Conference held on June 13 and 14 in Ocean City, Maryland.

AOPA works with state advocacy associations across the country on a variety of issues. Collaborating with associations on a state and local level ensures AOPA can provide accurate and passionate testimony to elected officials and help support communities in their fight to protect the freedom to fly, preserve airports, and grow the pilot population.

Lillian Geil
Communications Specialist
Communications Specialist Lillian Geil is a student pilot and a graduate of Columbia University who joined AOPA in 2021.
Topics: Advocacy, Airport Advocacy, State Legislation

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