The Business Aviation community is being attacked by our government yet again. This latest attack comes disguised as a revenue producer that has proven to be a failure everywhere it’s been implemented.

The concept of user fees on the surface seems valid enough, but when you analyze the system that is currently in place, you find that system works fairly well and the problems have come from either Congress or various Administrations medaling with the process.

Years ago, an Aviation Trust Fund was established to cover the cost of enhancing our airport and air traffic infrastructure. A fuel tax was paid by the users along with Excise Taxes and Segment Fees by commercial operators. The airlines and commercial operators added those fees to the cost of a ticket or charter and filed for a rebate on some of the fuel taxes paid in. Everyone paid their share and the revenue was easily collected through fuel sales or simple tax accounting means.

Unfortunately, our government found a large pool of money available and re-appropriated those funds for other things. The Social Security Trust Fund has received the same treatment.

Now, along with help from the powerful airline lobbies, the concept of user fees has come up again. This form of revenue production has been proven to be inefficient and cumbersome to implement in just about every place it’s been tried.

This process will create more negative pressure on an already stressed industry. Say “no” to user fees and “yes” to supporting a business tool that returns more value to a company’s bottom line than just transportation.

Steve Wiley

VP Aviation Accounts