July 2007

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. In February, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed the creation of an array of new user fees to fund the U.S. Air Transportation System. Much of the industry gave the proposal a 'thumbs down,' with a key exception being the Air Transport Association, which a year earlier had released a position paper that was very similar to the subsequent FAA proposal. Airports want the cap on passenger facility charges (PFCs) raised and indexed for inflation. User groups (other than the airlines) are essentially calling for the status quo.

It is up to Congress to make the final determination on how to fund the system while also modernizing the Air Traffic Control System the need for which all parties agree.

Meanwhile, another debate has emerged involving money a rates and charges showdown at Los Angeles International Airport that could have-lasting repercussions for airports and their tenants. In the final analysis, it is all a moving target, at best.

Second, The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved S.1300, the Aviation Investment and Modernization Act of 2007, which authorizes FAA and other programs through 2011. The U.S. House had yet to come forward with its reauthorization bill.

Comments NATA, "The Senate's FAA reauthorization largely maintains the status quo…" It does not make changes to current aviation taxes, which fall under the domain of the Senate Committee on Finance. Here are some key S.1300 provisions:

o Establishes an Air Traffic Modernization Fund, which will collect a $25 surcharge for all commercial and turbine-powered flights.
o Creates an ATC Oversight Board, made up of government and industry representatives, and authorizes the Department of Transportation to borrow funds via bonds for ATC capital projects to facilitate modernization.
o Increases Airport Improvement Program funding levels, starting with $3.8 billion in 2008, and ending with $4.1 billion in 2011.

S.1300, however, does not raise the cap on PFCs, which, with the exception of ATA, is generally supported by industry. It is at the top of the airport groups' wish list, and FAA had proposed raising the cap from the current $4.50 to $6.00, but not indexed for inflation.

The Senate bill does call for a pilot program to allow up to six airports to charge their cap and to collect the fees themselves.

Thirdly, Here is an update concerning Missouri Aviation. The only Airport and Aviation Bills are as follows:

94th General Assembly, 1st Regular Session (2007)
Bills Indexed by Subject

HB 118 --- Sponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Specifies the situations in which the Civil Air Patrol may be activated, which missions are federal or state, and who pays for the missions

HB 302 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Relating to State Aviation Trust Funds and air traffic control towers partially funded by the federal government under a cost-sharing program

HB 305 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Page, Sam
Increases the limit on the amount deposited to the aviation trust fund to eight million five hundred thousand dollars

HB 529 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J.
Changes the laws regarding the Aviation Trust Fund and air traffic control towers

HB 571 --- Sponsor: St. Onge, Neal C. --- CoSponsor: Schneider, Vicki
Changes the definition of "commercial aircraft" by lowering the maximum certified gross take-off weight from 7,000 to 1,000 pounds

HB 619 --- Sponsor: Aull, Joe --- CoSponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Specifies the situations in which the Civil Air Patrol may be activated, which missions are federal or state, and who pays for the missions

HB 624 --- Sponsor: Wilson, Larry --- CoSponsor: Quinn, Paul
Requires operators of storage facilities to provide documentation for property tax purposes

SB 120 --- Sponsor: Nodler, Gary
Increases the cap on the Aviation Trust Fund and allows the Aviation Trust Fund to be used for certain federal air traffic control cost-sharing programs

SB 602 --- Sponsor: Kennedy, Harry
Creates a sales and use tax exemption for purchases of aviation fuel for transoceanic flights

Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Associations of which you may be a member, all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of pilots and taxpayers carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., and on the State and Local Level.

So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."


Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
E-mail address:

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