Editor’s Note: Late Thursday evening, the Alliance for Aviation Across America released the following statement applauding the House of Representatives’ FAA Reauthorization bill, which rejects any new user fee taxes:
“We applaud members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for introducing a FAA reauthorization bill that stands up for small businesses and towns around the country that rely on small aircraft by rejecting any new, harmful user fee tax.
“This legislation provides the FAA with historically high funding levels to achieve the goals of air traffic control modernization, thus proving what the Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability Office, and the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation have all stated: modernization of our air traffic control system can be achieved without any radical overhaul of the current funding structure.
“User fees defy the FAA’s own contention that commercial airlines drive the vast majority of air traffic control costs with their complex hub-and-spoke system. Replacing the current ‘pay at the pump’ system with an inefficient tax that disproportionately targets small businesses and rural communities is not good policy, does nothing to support modernization, and creates a new layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.
“Members of the House of Representatives have heard from their constituents that providing airlines with massive tax breaks, and passing the burden to general aviation, will devastate small businesses that rely on air transportation.
“Common sense has prevailed in the House of Representatives version of FAA Reauthorization, and we now urge all members of the House and Senate to support this legislation that will strengthen America’s air transportation system and not unduly burden small businesses and towns.”
The Alliance also noted funding levels allocated in HR 2881 include $15.8 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) — over $4 billion more than the Administration’s proposal; $13 billion for FAA Facilities & Equipment (F&E) — over $1 billion more than the Administration’s proposal; and $37.2 billion for FAA Operations.