Governor Dalrymple declared March “Aviation Month.”
While most of us may think of commercial aviation and large planes, it also recognizes our general aviation airports.
The Alliance for Aviation Across America says general aviation in the state accounts for more than 131 million dollars in economic activity each year.
The Mandan Airport accounts for four point four million dollars of this.
“General aviation serves a wide need anywhere from freight, air ambulance, ag, just pleasure, agriculture. I mean it’s just a wide spectrum of things that it affects and helps,” says Jim Lawler, Manager, Mandan Municipal Airport.
Last week President Obama proposed a 100 dollar per-flight user fee to fairly distribute the cost of air traffic service.
This concerns many including two men who frequently use the Mandan airport and say they already pay a fuel tax.
“It’ll kill flight training because, you now, what you do for training is take offs and landings, take offs and landings, take offs and landings because that’s the critical part of the flight,” says Marc Taylor, Owner/Manager, Northern Plains Equipment.
“For as many times as we lift off this airport and land again, in a days time it could be up to 20, 22 times per airplane. It would be a financial struggle that we wouldn’t be able to handle,” says Lynn Westrum, Owner of Sprayers Inc.
President Obama has proposed the user fee in the past but Congress has rejected it.