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dseagrav

General Aviation needs your help!

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If you were ever planning to fly in real life, or want to see general aviation continue in the real world, you really should consider joining the AOPA -RIGHT NOW- or you may lose the chance forever.The white house has submitted its budget for the 2007 fiscal year, and the new FAA budget, which is required to be decided by September, includes a 400% increase in fuel taxes and substantial user fees. The total cost of private flying is expected to increase over 500%.The reason for the increases and funding changes is that the government no longer wants the FAA to be tax-supported and wishes to move the costs of operation to pilots. We're being forced to foot the bill for a system designed to put us out of business. The airlines want a next-generation satellite-based surveillance system to replace the existing radar system, which would allow them to fly more smaller jets and replace dispatchers with computers. They try to justify this by pointing out that Europe has this system already - and in Europe, there is no general aviation. Private airplanes are almost exclusively business jets owned by the very wealthy. The rank and file take the airlines; the private skies are reserved for their masters.I am not exaggerating in the least - I have no political agenda and represent no group, except that I am an AOPA member. But I am not typing for the AOPA. I'm typing for pilots. Our fellow pilot in the white house has sold us out. The implementation of these fees will END GENERAL AVIATION AS WE KNOW IT. And that's what they want. The airline lobby and their backers want the common rank and file chained to the ground where they "belong".The news will try to spin this in their favor - Talking about how this will make ticket prices cheaper, and about how rich corporate fatcats and their private jets should pay a "fair share" - But don't be fooled. The goal of these fees is to make sure that a general-aviation "flying car" like the ones envisioned in the past will never exist; and those that do exist will be the privilege of the wealthy. Your children will never fly. Never again will someone look up in the sky and see a Cessna or a Piper and dream.Please, for the sake of pilots present, past, and future; FIGHT THIS.Join the AOPA. Write your congresscritters. MAKE NOISE. We cannot allow this to succeed.

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Yup, welcome to Europe indeed! The UK CAA has been required to turn a profit for years. This is why it costs $1300 to do a CPL or IR flight test. $700 to issue a license. I doubt you'll see a 500% increase in overall costs, I reckon your costs will easily double though :((>>in Europe, there is no general aviation. Private airplanes are almost >>exclusively business jets owned by the very wealthy. The rank and file >>take the airlines; the private skies are reserved for their masters.>>Despite the huge costs, GA is still alive and well, esp in the UK.I think the cause is being exaggerated as that statement is rubbish. There is, despite the expense, a healthy private GA population in Scandinavia, Ireland, Holland, Germany, France and especially in the UK. Spain and Italy less so, but then there is less money there too.The UK in particular is very very active despite being just about the most expensive of all the European countries. In the UK, it costs about $8,000/year to run a four place single and about $100/hr on top of that to fly it. Fractional ownership is a popular way to own GA aircraft in the UK.Regardless of that, you will take a hit :(( It is depressing news all the same.

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Can you point me to the text of the proposed budget discussing the specific user fees? I know the EAA (I am a member) and AOPA have been lobbying heavily against these fees, but this is the first I've heard of a budger proposal with specifics. Google is pulling up nothing other than previous discussions on the issue.-John

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Sadly, the honeymoon is over. Welcome to global warming consideration.

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Welcome to the real world. Why should the US taxpayer be expected to meet these costs rather than the users, especially as flying is only a hobby for private pilots?Also, remember the term general aviation describes any flight other than a military or scheduled airline flight, so it's much wider than light private aircraft.

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That is a huge can of worms you are going to open.Why should we pay social security then? We're probably never going to collect it.Maybe people who don't drive should be exempt from paying highway taxes?I would like to be exempt from paying taxes to local schools since I have no children in them.Why are my taxes subsidizing farmers in the midwest? I will never eat their corn.You can't segregate. The airlines don't pay ANYTHING toward the system- maybe they should foot the bill, since quite frankly, they are the ones who really use it.As a VFR pilot, my use of the system can be pretty much limited to taking off/landing. I don't use VORs, NDBs, Centers, and if I choose I can avoid FSS and all the other services too.

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mgh,In the US, GA flying is viable and practical form of transport and was (previously) considered part of the transportation infrastructure. In many ways for many people it still is. In the UK it isn't, it is invariably easier and quicker to drive to most UK destinations that most people want to go to. Because the UK has such a well developed commercial air structure for such a small country, it is cheaper, easier and quicker to jump on an Easyjet to go further a field. If it wasn't for the European Union's love of tax, regulations and bureaucracy, and if the EU aviation used one language (which it doesn't) then the same could be said for GA in Europe. But alas, trans Europe GA travel is for the very wealthy or determined adventurer only.

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This whole thing is just to benefit the airlines anyway. I would have much less of a problem paying for satellite-based ATC if I had the ability to use it, but the features they want to add have nothing to do with a 152. They aren't adding any significant new functionality, no better weather or better coverage, they just want to have computer-controlled dispatching so they can stop paying dispatchers, and they want to use more regional jets so they can pay pilots less. The whole thing is just the airline management trying to fleece everyone from the top down.

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How do you know you'll never collec social security? You might be glad of it one day.People who don't drive don't pay car tax, fuel duty, insurance, etc.Your education was presumably paid for by other people paying taxes to local schools.How do you know you have never eaten a product containing corn from midwest farmers?

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GA Flying may well be a viable and practical form of transport in the US. That's still no reason for it to be subsidised by the general taxpayer.

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We still pay a nice size fuel tax already it's not like we are using the whole system for free.

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You are right-highways and roads should also not be subsidized by the general taxpayer either-after all cars are also just another viable and practical form of transportation. :-)By the way-Ga traffic makes up about 80% of the total air traffic in the US-but uses an extrememly small proportion of the services (most Ga traffic is vfr). Guess who uses the majority-yet wants Ga to pay for it?

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Really hope this proposal doesn't pass. My local FBO is on its last legs as it is, between high fuel prices and rising insurance premiums, and an increase in fuel taxes coupled with new user fees for all ATC and FSS services could be curtains for them. Having been to Oshkosh a few times, and seeing the intangible benefits of GA for kids first hand (drug-free environment with a strong sense of personal responsibility, and respect for history and the men who made it), I'm very hopeful that GA will still be an affordable proposition for my two preschool-aged boys in a decade or so. These new fees could sink that dream in a hurry.John G.

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>Also, we pay a higher tax than the airlines do. For private>use, avgas is taxed at 19.4

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