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Friday, June 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: U.S. Senate Bill Proposes New Fee For IFR Flights

LEGISLATION

Legislation proposed in the U.S. Senate would add a $25-a-flight surcharge on all IFR flights in the national airspace to cover air traffic control costs.

Legislative specialists at the Helicopter Assn. International (HAI) say the Senate bill would phase out a 4.3-cent-a-gallon tax commercial airlines pay on fuel. In turn, it would more than double the tax that operators of turbine-powered general-aviation aircraft pay on fuel, from 21 cents to 49 cents a gallon.

HAI is using the Senate bill and its tax and fee implications to prod members and those involved in rotorcraft to get involved in the fight against a Bush Administration initiative to replace airline taxes with general-aviation user fees. In a message posted on its Web site, the trade group described the implications of the latest Senate bill. While the Senate plan "is a less radical alternative than the proposal released by the FAA and the Bush Administration, it is still not a whole lot better for our industry," the group said to members. "Don’t you think it is time you got involved?"

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