It took me the better part of 30 years to finally “get into” general aviation flying. A Cessna will get you there (eventually) and the Mooney 201 is a slick piece of gear to dream on, but compared to twin, afterburning GE404 engines wrapped in twin-tailed titanium and graphite epoxy, eh.
You need two things to fly: Airspeed and money. My timing, she is impeccable. Because, it appears, you may also need “user fees” to support the FAA:
President Barack Obama’s proposed budget is calling for aviation user charges starting in 2011. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the proposal Feb. 26, and although there is not much detail, the document makes it clear that the administration wants to replace some of the aviation excise taxes with “direct user charges.”
“It is often said the devil is in the details, but even with only a few details, we are concerned,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “We have been working constructively with the Obama administration and Congress about moving forward with air traffic control modernization and airport development. However, the warning light went on with the budget briefing documents and the plan for imposing billions in user fees on the aviation community.”
General aviation already supports the federal transport network through excise taxes on aviation fuel, while the aircraft industry is already reeling from the impacts of the recession. It’s difficult to believe that these “user fees” will substitute for the excise tax on a one-for-one basis.
The power to tax is the power to destroy.