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"House plan for FAA won't have user fees"

Thursday, June 7, 2007

House plan for FAA won't have user fees
President Bush had proposed that aviation user fees should pay for over half
the FAA budget.
By John Hughes 
Bloomberg News

Washington - Aviation user fees won't be part of a House plan for funding
the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation and Infrastructure
Chairman James Oberstar said. 

Existing taxes can cover the FAA's budget and airport projects for the next
five years, Oberstar said in an interview. President Bush had proposed a fee
that would pay for more than half of the FAA's $14.1 billion budget. 

"None of what the administration was proposing" will be included, Oberstar,
a Minnesota Democrat, said in Washington. "We're plotting a path to
achieving it without the administration's fees." 

Small-plane owners opposed fees based on air-space use, fearing higher

Airlines and passengers pay two-thirds of costs now through taxes on
passenger tickets, fuel, cargo and frequent-flier miles. 

Even without fees, airlines hope Congress will require corporate-jet users
to pay more, said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Washington-based Air
Transport Association. 

"We're tired of subsidizing corporate aviation," he said. 

Oberstar said House lawmakers are still drafting an FAA proposal that will
be ready for an aviation subcommittee vote later this month. 

A Senate panel passed its version of the plan May 16. 

It includes a small-scale version of Bush's fee that, at $25 a flight, would
collect $400 million a year. 

Bush didn't specify the amount of his fee.

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