By Alan Levin September 19, 2011
President Barack Obama’s administration proposed a $100 per-flight fee on corporate jets and other turbine-powered planes that use the U.S. air-traffic system, as part of a deficit-reduction plan.
The fee would raise an estimated $11 billion over 10 years, according to the president’s recommendations to the 12-member congressional committee charged with finding ways to trim the deficit. The fee is aimed at private aircraft, which currently don’t pay their fair share of costs of operating the aviation system, the administration said today.
About two-thirds of the air-traffic system is paid for by aviation excise taxes, including levies on airline tickets and on fuel. Last year these taxes raised $10.8 billion, according to the Department of Transportation.
There is a disparity between what airlines and their passengers pay into the system and what users of private aircraft pay, the plan said.
An airline flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco would generate $1,300 to $2,000 in taxes, depending on the number of passengers and what they paid for tickets. A private jet, which requires almost the same services from air-traffic controllers, would pay about $60 in fuel taxes, the plan said.
“General aviation users currently pay a fuel tax, but this revenue does not cover their fair-share use of air traffic services,” the plan said.
A similar proposal introduced by President George W. Bush’s administration was defeated in Congress after opposition by corporate-aircraft operators.