The general aviation industry was heartened Monday by the news that the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2011 federal budget proposal has excluded new user fees for business aircraft.
“When it comes to the long-standing battle over user fees, it appears that today, we have reached an important and welcome milestone,” National Business Aviation Association president and CEO Ed Bolen said in a statement. “The fact that user fees are not part of the President’s 2011 budget proposal shows the tremendous progress we have made over the past year.”
It’s a big change from a year ago, when the previous budget proposal included a proposal to replace some aviation excise taxes with direct user charges.
NBAA and other industry trade groups support the payment of fuel taxes, which users pay at the pump, and which they say are easily collected and serve as an effective way to collect the revenue.
But vigilance is still needed, Bolen said.
“Whether or not this is an indication of a permanent policy shift on user fees, or a one-time development remains to be determined,” he said.