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No call for user fees in President's budget

The White House released a budget today that avoided user fees for general aviation and provided funding for NextGen air traffic control system modernization and for improvement projects at general aviation airports, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

A complete review of the budget takes time, officials said.

“But our initial reading indicates that the President has recognized the need to modernize our aviation system while maintaining critical infrastructure – all funded by a tried-and-true system of excise taxes and general fund contributions,” AOPA president Craig Fuller said in a statement. “All of us in the general aviation community find this encouraging.”

The budget sets aside $1.24 billion to modernize the air traffic control system as it transitions from ground-based to a satellite-based system, the AOPA said. That’s an increase of $370 million over last year’s funding.

It preserves Airport Improvement Program funding for smaller airports, which provides federal matching grants for infrastructure improvements such as runway resurfacing and extensions, taxiway construction and airport lighting.