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User fee system


User Fee Funding System  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you agree or disagree with the proposed user fee system?

    • Agree
      0
    • Disagree
      41
    • I don't care
      0
  2. 2. Would a user fee system affect (or would it have affected) your decision to take flight training?

    • I would still learn to fly
      30
    • I would not learn to fly
      7
    • I really don't care
      4
  3. 3. Would a user fee system significantly effect your cost of doing business?

    • Yes
      20
    • No
      1
    • I don't know
      1
    • I don't own a business
      19


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Only read about it now that you mentioned it...I'll read some more about it but off the cuff...it seems to me that the greatest users will have the most influence thereby slowly creating a system that favors their agenda (whatever that may be for whoever that may be)...

 

My $ .02...

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One of the possible theories I read is that a user fee system driven on a per item cost (ie say...$5 for a WX brief, $15 for an ILS etc) would drive people to not use services in an effort to save money over safety.

 

 

This is a horrible idea in any way or form. THis topic enrages me. We already pay for this in exhobinant fuel taxes etc. If we go to this system do you folks 'REALLY' think the gov't will rescind the current fuel taxes?!

 

Just another tax hike.

 

PS... Can you also imagine to local additions to this ILS costs 15 for federal and 5 for local fees and surcharges.... ughhhhh what an insane idea

Edited by BillyBob
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One of the possible theories I read is that a user fee system driven on a per item cost (ie say...$5 for a WX brief, $15 for an ILS etc) would drive people to not use services in an effort to save money over safety.

This is a horrible idea in any way or form. THis topic enrages me. We already pay for this in exhobinant fuel taxes etc. If we go to this system do you folks 'REALLY' think the gov't will rescind the current fuel taxes?!

 

Just another tax hike.

 

PS... Can you also imagine to local additions to this ILS costs 15 for federal and 5 for local fees and surcharges.... ughhhhh what an insane idea

Great point.

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We already pay for this in exhobinant fuel taxes etc. If we go to this system do you folks 'REALLY' think the gov't will rescind the current fuel taxes?!

 

Actually, part of the proposal is to raise the current AVGAS tax by 70 cents a gallon. Jet A will go up a similar amount, but I can't remember what that amount is.

 

Just remember that your opinion counts! Write to your Senator and House Representitive.

 

Locate your House Representitive

 

Locate your Senator

 

Here are some links with information about the funding debate.

 

http://www.aopa.org/faafundingdebate/

http://www.eaa.org/govt/index.html

http://web.nbaa.org/public/govt/

Edited by PhotoFlyer
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Guest rookie101

I had brought up a similar topic in a different thread:

 

http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterfor...mp;hl=user+fees

 

The link to the article no longer works, but pay particular attention to arotrhd (oops got the name wrong the first time and said rotor91 :rolleyes:) post. Not trying to hijack the thread, just trying to help out. :)

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AOPA pilot (APR 07) also has a very well written article on our European counterparts and the effects user fees have on them, as well as AVIONIC NEWS (APR 07) with a slant from the GAMA perspective. Here goes a lengthy read, but worth it:

 

US House agrees FAA funding plan unfair, helped by HAI President testimony

 

Alexandria, Va., March 22, 2007 — Helicopter Association International (HAI) President Matthew Zuccaro testified on March 21, 2007 before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee on the lack of merit the Bush Administration’s financing proposal for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has for the civil helicopter industry. Full House Transportation Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar’s (D-Minnesota) message to the FAA: “Our intention is to give it a decent burial.”

 

Zuccaro believes the current FAA funding program is “fair, adequate, and equitable,” pointing out to members of the subcommittee that it has been widely acknowledged that the current funding mechanisms could adequately finance the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Zuccaro told Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank Costello (D-Illinois) and members of his panel that the plan would have “an extremely detrimental economic impact on HAI’s members, with a resulting constraint and/or elimination of many helicopter operations.”

 

Aviation panel members unanimously agreed that the FAA’s plan unfairly distributes cost, admonishing the FAA, “we’re not going to allow it,” “get ready – we’re going to make good decisions that embrace all of aviation.” Congressman Robin Hayes (R-North Carolina), a general aviation pilot, told government witnesses, “The FAA is gulping the airline Kool-Aid.”

 

“How can one support a proposed funding program that significantly reduces the costs to the airlines, who in fact place the highest demands on the system, while dramatically increasing costs to other segments, such as the helicopter community, whose utilization of the system is incidental, with little or no impact,” asked Zuccaro.

 

“The very nature of the helicopter’s capabilities, direct point-to-point transportation, eliminates the need to operate to and from airports, and helicopter industry initiatives such as privately funded point-in-space, off- airport, instrument approaches, further reduce airport use by helicopters,” testified Zuccaro.

 

Zuccaro pointed out that the missions performed, operational altitudes, and locations of operations, are outside the reach of the normal FAA Air Traffic Control service area and airport infrastructure. Further, the current level of service the FAA provides for initial certification as a commercial operator, i.e., an 18-month to 2-year wait for an initial appointment is unsatisfactory. It may well be indicative of the worsening level of service customers can anticipate if the FAA reduces it’s revenue by 600 million dollars under it’s proposed funding program.

 

In his testimony, Zuccaro enlightened members of the panel on the untold millions of dollars helicopter operators flying in support of offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico have spent to provide their own infrastructure. He pointed out the fact the “helicopter community has already stepped up to the plate” in the form of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) co-signed between HAI and the FAA, the helicopter operators, and the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico to facilitate the installation of Phase I of ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) technology. According to Zuccaro, the “value of the in-kind services being provided by the helicopter industry, are valued in excess of 100 million dollars over the life of the project.” “The airlines will also reap the benefits of the new ADS-B system in the Gulf of Mexico, yet the helicopter industry is the only industry segment partnered with the FAA.”

 

“The obvious fact,” Zuccaro said, is that the “helicopter community places the least demand on the Air Traffic Control and airport system. The vast majority of their operations are conducted at heliports, private facilities and remote locations, without utilizing the services of FAA Air Traffic Control, or the need to operate to and from airports.”

 

Zuccaro asked panel members to give some thought to the FAA compensating the helicopter community for services rendered due to helicopters providing off airport, city center to city center transportation, thereby further creating new capacity at congested airports.

 

In his prepared statement, Zuccaro thanked FAA Administrator Marion Blakey for her support and leadership, but he “respectfully disagreed with her regarding the proposed funding methodology” that would impose onerous financial burdens upon his industry.

 

“The helicopter community should be,” Zuccaro said, the “one segment of the aviation community that has the least economic burden placed on it, and the airlines should have the highest.” Adding, “to do otherwise would be like charging a farm tractor that only leaves the farm once a month, to travel on a public road a short distance to go to another farm, the same highway tax as a long haul tractor-trailer.”

 

In closing, Zuccaro recommended that helicopters be placed into their own category of aircraft for planning and funding purposes, instead of being combined with piston airplanes, as is currently the case.

 

He further recommended that the majority of the funds contributed by helicopter operators, under any funding program, should not be applied to the development of airports and runways, but instead should be utilized to fund a national heliport system

 

HAI is the professional trade association for the international helicopter industry. HAI’s 1,350-plus-member organizations and 1,150 individual members, in more than 71 nations, safely operate more than 5,000 helicopters approximately 2.3 million hours each year. HAI is dedicated to the promotion of the helicopter as a safe, effective method of commerce and to the advancement of the international helicopter community.

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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I hope this doesn't come down to has the most clout in commitees. The airlines or GA... That is basically who this struggle is between, as of now, the airlines pretty much foot the bill for everything avaition wise, and they are the ones lobbying to spread these costs out. So, does the GA constituency have enough to stop it? I sure hope so, but I imagine that Airlines have quite a bit of pull in Congress, if this goes through I think it is going to profit the Airlines by as much as it costs us in the GA field. Like PhotoFlyer says though, enough public opinion can help to sway a senator/representative's vote. I believe that AOPA has a list of User Fee friendly congressmen, I think these are the ones that need to hear from their general aviation constituents.

 

Dave

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"I believe that AOPA has a list of User Fee friendly congressmen, I think these are the ones that need to hear from their general aviation constituents."

 

Dave - I like your statement, but as all representatives are elected to office, every single one of them should be contacted, ESPECIALLY the ones who support user fees at this time; I think that if they hear enough from non-airline constituents - us & AOPA & HAI & GAMA & ??? - in their districts/states, and learn what actually may be lost (in terms of $$$ and their votes next election), they may reconsider their position. Airline political lobbies can only go so far, but with almost 500,000 voices saying no thanks to the proposed "new" system, they'll listen. Remember that those representatives who understand what is at stake and are "friendly", they already have been educated and are most likely going to stay on non-user fee side. I'm going to contact my reps (Drier, Boxer and DF) and respectfully request their positions on this. There are enough facts available to help them understand the true downside of the user fee system.

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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Yes, I agree that the non-user fee reps need to hear from us too, but I do think it is the user fee friendly ones that need a wakeup call! It is pretty easy to get a message to them these days, you can even shoot them an email.

 

Dave

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The following are links to some of the previously mentioned articles (sorry, I tried to get the links to work...gave up on it 'cus I sucked at it - and I can't even do THAT well). You shouldn't need the membership to read.

 

"Euro-Fees Fears

Want to see how user fees could affect U.S. general aviation? Just cross the pond"

 

http://www.aopa.org/pilot/features/2007/feat0704.html

 

and the debate:

 

http://www.aopa.org/faafundingdebate/

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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  • 5 weeks later...

Had to bump this thread up again.

 

Anyone who has the slightest bit of interest in the FAA Reauthoization funding debate (or, like me, is scared absolutely sh!tless about the potential safety and cost ramifications for GA and us kinds of operators) should visit http://www.aviationacrossamerica.com/ as well as AOPA (links in previous threads). Take a few moments and read through their site, their responses to the FAA arguments supporting the user fees, and if so inclined, like yours truely - sign up in the "Join Our Alliance" link. Also, have a look at the associations that are part of their membership.

 

Another decent aerospace info & news site is http://www.aero-news.net . Aside from presenting all viewpoints from the 2 sides on the user fees, they have a pretty good spectrum of all aviation news, and yes, helicopters too occasionally (...although I digged the article they had a couple days ago on Dr. Stephen Hawking's zero G flight in the civilian vomet comet).

 

Like many others who have earned an instrument rating, I was very spooked to read the charges for an instrument flight in the latest round (but, the FAA claims, no charges for VFR). Some rhetorical thoughts... how might this effect the regs regarding instrument training for students (3 hrs PPL/10 hrs CPL) & who want to have actual IMC time logged vs. simulated time, as well as those who aren't flying IMC for a living, but like to fly IFR to be in the system even in VFR cond's. I know scud running really isn't part of a helo driver's vocabulary, but anyone have some thoughts on what might happen to flight ops safety in crap Wx? then combined with rapidly rising topography? Think there might be some bad judgement calls and we end up with more CFIT accidents of due to IMC and poor judgement?...if it happens now with Air Med and other operators, it can happen anyone of us. And that's with current FAA operating conditions. The mike is hot if anyone wants to talk.

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Results of Round 1: :angry: :angry: :angry:

 

AOPA Says 'Fight Has Just Begun' On User Fees Thu, 17 May '07

 

Battle Lost, But More Skirmishes Looming

 

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association reports there was no doubt about the general aviation community's hatred of user fees in the minds of any member of the Senate Commerce Committee when it came time to vote Wednesday on an amendment that would have stripped the $25-per-flight air traffic control user fee from the Senate's FAA funding bill.

 

As ANN reported in Real Time, the Senate Commerce Committee voted 12 to 11 on May 16 to impose user fees for ATC services. AOPA President Phil Boyer notes, while the loss is discouraging, the Senate committee is but the first of nearly a dozen political bodies that will weigh in on the FAA financing issue.

 

"As disappointing as this one vote is, I still consider it a win for the long term," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "In Washington, it's not always about the result but about how you play the game, and in this case pilots disrupted the airlines' attempt to smoothly have user fees pass."

 

Boyer noted that three days ago, no one would have believed that there was the slightest chance in knocking user fees out of the package.

 

"But with the help of AOPA members, we nearly turned it around in two and half days," said Boyer. "That sends a message to the rest of Congress, showing that there is strong support for our no-user-fee position."

 

"We're extremely grateful to Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and John E. Sununu (R-NH) for sponsoring this amendment and to the senators who supported them," said Boyer.

 

AOPA also notes Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (right) -- who cast the tie-breaking vote to keep user fees in the bill -- did so with hesitation. Referring to the effect of user fees on aircraft flying in Alaska, Stevens said he thought there was "a bit of unfairness" in the bill, but he wanted to send it to the Senate floor.

 

"That gives us the opportunity build on the momentum started against user fees," said Boyer. (Editor's Note: Considering the impact and importance of general aviation in Alaska, one could argue Stevens' vote was particularly egregious.)

 

Fuel Tax Remains Hot Issue

Noting that the Rockefeller-Lott FAA funding bill would give the airlines a tax break by eliminating its 4.3-cent fuel tax and replacing it with a $25-per-flight user fee on all turbine-powered aircraft flying in controlled airspace, Nelson asked, "Who do you want to pay? You have to make a choice; do you want it from the user fee or a continuation of the existing fuel tax on commercial aviation?"

 

Nelson said that Florida, like Alaska, depended upon GA... but unlike Alaska, his entire state was covered by controlled airspace. Every turboprop flying point to point in Florida would pay the $25-per-flight fee.

 

Nelson also openly wondered if the fee was the airlines' attempt to snuff small competitors such as DayJet, which provides on-demand, point-to-point air taxi services.

 

Fuel taxes will also be under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee. "That committee also has a say on the FAA funding bill. That's where the taxes on aviation will actually be set," said Boyer.

 

The House will be writing its version of FAA funding legislation.

 

"While we know that Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and many members of the committee are strongly opposed to user fees, aviation taxes and fees will ultimately be determined by the House Ways and Means Committee," said Boyer.

 

And legislation can be amended or changed at any point as it moves through Congress.

 

"We're still very much in the fight," said Boyer. "And our politically active members have sent a clear message to Congress: no user fees for any segment of aviation. Period."

 

Remember These Names... On Both Sides

AOPA notes 11 members of the Commerce Committee deserve special recognition from pilots for their tremendous work in supporting the fight against user fees. First of all, Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and John Sununu (R-NH) stepped forward to sponsor the amendment. Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Tom Carper (D-DE), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Ensign (R-NV), Jim DeMint (R-SC), and David Vitter (R-LA) all supported the amendment.

 

On the other side, there were 12 senators who supported user fees: Sens. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), Trent Lott (R-MS), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), John F. Kerry (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Claire C. McCaskill (D-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John McCain (R-AZ), and John Thune (R-SD).

 

Anybody out there?

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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I emailed my congress women (who is supporting the user fees ) last night voiced the concerns we all have about the proposal. Did you realize that while we are currently paying 20 cents tax on a gallon of 100LL. The airlines pay 4.5 cents tax on their fuel, and the proposal does away with THAT! Now why should our GA tax go up to 70 cents, and airlines drops to 0? An interesting thing happened, today I recieved 19 (Thank you for writing emails from her office) Sure they are all automatically generated but it seems like a waste of resources to replicated it 19 times.

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I just emailed Amy Klobuchar, my senetor that voted for this user fee and emplored her to join Mr. oberstar in not supporting this user fee. I'll let you all know what her response.

 

i urge all other Minnesotan's on this site to send her an email to the same here is her web site.

 

http://klobuchar.senate.gov/

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Just wait till you are charged for driving by the mile, this is the latest IDEA in the UK, GPS in every vcl tracking your journey and billing you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I just read up on it with this:

http://www.kansas.com/101/story/65263.html

 

I have to tell you, over the weekend I was watching a program on MSNBC called 'High Net Worth', a show about rich folks & their life.

 

I saw this paragraph from the article above:

"...The proposal also eliminates a 7.5 percent ticket tax passengers pay on fares and raises passenger facility charges...."

 

...and it reminded me of the 'High Net Worth' program. That program was playing this story as a 'get-the-rich-private-jet-owner & get-rid-of-the-ticket-tax-on-the-common-man' story. The story wasn't FAA proposes user tax on general aviation & how it'll affect non-rich private pilots or small businesses, it was FAA proposes tax on general aviation, while showing private jets & rich folks playing around. After watching the show, I was even going, 'yeah, stick it to the rich'....

 

But now I have seen the light....

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Just wait till you are charged for driving by the mile, this is the latest IDEA in the UK, GPS in every vcl tracking your journey and billing you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

I think one or two states do that now on a trial basis in the US, if I remember correctly. I suppose they would make you buy your own GPS, too....

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here is the response from Senetor Klobuchar Finally.

 

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on FAA reauthorization and modernization. I am grateful for your views on this important issue.

 

Our air transportation system is a national treasure, but one that has been strained in recent years and subject to increased congestion and delay – for commercial airlines as well as for the General Aviation community. Indeed, passenger delay costs Americans hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars each year. Because of this, we need to both modernize the Air Traffic Control System and ensure that our airports can accommodate the projected growth in demand for air travel.

 

To that end, I supported the FAA Reauthorization Bill that was recently voted out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. As a Member of that Committee, I will carefully monitor this legislation and will keep your views in mind as the Bill comes to the full Senate for a vote.

 

Again, thank you for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to do so again.

 

Sincerely,

 

Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator

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Here is the response from Senetor Klobuchar Finally.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on FAA reauthorization and modernization. I am grateful for your views on this important issue.

 

Our air transportation system is a national treasure, but one that has been strained in recent years and subject to increased congestion and delay – for commercial airlines as well as for the General Aviation community. Indeed, passenger delay costs Americans hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars each year. Because of this, we need to both modernize the Air Traffic Control System and ensure that our airports can accommodate the projected growth in demand for air travel.

 

To that end, I supported the FAA Reauthorization Bill that was recently voted out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. As a Member of that Committee, I will carefully monitor this legislation and will keep your views in mind as the Bill comes to the full Senate for a vote.

 

Again, thank you for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to do so again.

 

Sincerely,

 

Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator

 

 

Hmmm....

 

So because Delta packs too many departures out of ATL, US Air too many out of PHL, CLT and UAL too many out of ORD.... *WE* are going to pay more for a wx brief, ILS's now or get increased gas taxes?!

 

This is nothing more than airline exec's trying to reduce costs and shifting it to other folks. The senator is ignorant or disengenuine...my money is on both. Sorry to see, at least they responded.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congratulations 67, I never got that reply from amy. She has no clue, but it would be hard to get the general (non Pilot) public do not favor us paying versus them. great deal for airlines and passangers, sucks for us. Lets fight the good fight

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