Al Marsh

Another user-fee horror story

August 31, 2011 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

If you live in New Zealand, you’ve been asked since August 1 to pay $100 per year for weather briefings from private companies. That’s because theĀ New Zealand government cut off funding to private briefing services–and we all understand the world is coming up a dollar or two short these days. Everybody has to cut back. However, one of those private weather briefing companies saw its subscriber base shrink from 5,000 to 277. It could affect general aviation in several ways. One is to see an increase in the number of weather-related accidents (and an increase in costly government accident investigations). Another is to reduce interest in flying, leading to loss of jobs in aviation in New Zealand, leading to a still lower tax base and greater economic problems for the New Zealand government. Then the government will have to cut something else, unless it spots the cause-and-effect in time.

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4 Responses to “Another user-fee horror story”

  1. bill bedell Says:

    I remember when Nav Canada was imposed. At the time, avgas in Canada cost 25-50% more than in the US. After they imposed the nav fees, the fuel taxes remained. Since then, I fly to the border, use a US FBO and rent a US car, filling both my plane and rental car with US fuel upon my return from expensive Canada. The time/cost ratio tipped when they imposed nav fees without a commensurate reduction in fuel taxes.

    Wiith the post-9/11 requirements for US Customs, I rarely travel to Canada for pleasure any more.

  2. N Sark Says:

    OK AOPA, let’s pick our fights with the FAA. Let’s not back up the guy who went and purchased a G-550 for $27M and spend our resources to try to keep his registration fees down to $5 per transaction. At least have him pay for what I pay for my 10 year old Ford truck to register or $2 to get your ATP? How much did we all pay to get our driver Lic and none of us has problem with that on the “best day of our lives”? This would minimizes the possibilities of dealing with problems such as user fees for GA WX or ATC. Second, FAA is too big and expensive to run. Large portion of it can be and should be privatized. If you fight it we will all be looking at fees paid to an inefficient government agency. With the current Av-Gas prices GA is going downhill anyway and we don’t need any government’s help for that.

  3. Air Pirate Says:

    Because whether you fly a G-550 or a C-150, we are ALL in this TOGETHER. We use the same weather briefers, the same controllers, the same airspace, the same approaches, the same airports. We don’t need to isolate each other and make ourselves more vulnerable. There’s strength in numbers.

    Check 6.

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