Posted on January 15th, 2011
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) welcomed a recent call from Rep. Jerry Costello (D-12-IL) to President Barack Obama to keep user fees out of the administration’s fiscal year 2012 budget.
On January 7, Costello, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, issued a statement urging President Obama not to include general aviation user fees in the upcoming budget.
“We want to reiterate that a user fee proposal would be a step backward,” said Costello. “This is an issue that we have had bipartisan agreement on in recent years and there is no reason to reconsider it. I will not support a budget or an FAA Reauthorization bill that includes user fees.”
Costello is circulating a letter opposing user fees to his House colleagues for their signature. The Congressman organized a similar initiative in 2009, which was met with strong, bipartisan support.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen applauded Costello’s recent remarks, stating: “Representative Costello has always been an effective champion for general aviation, and we thank him for taking this action early in the year to send a clear and strong message of opposition to user fees for the industry.”
NBAA and the rest of the general aviation community have long been unified in advocating for the industry to help fund the Federal Aviation Administration and aviation system modernization through proven, efficient fuel taxes instead of untried and burdensome user fees.
Gus Lira, Vice President and Managing Partenr of Jetoptions agreed saying “As a member of NBAA we support their decision. Fuel taxes have been proven to be an efficient way of funding without adding user fees.”Bolen noted that user fees would require a large bureaucracy to manage, and would impose a burden on the many small and mid-size businesses that rely on an airplane to succeed.
He added that NBAA would continue to support aviation system modernization without user fees for general aviation, and that continued grassroots mobilization by the Association’s Members would be key to ensuring that the industry’s position on the issue is well understood by Washington policymakers.
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