The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT) has released draft regulations proposing an Aircraft Registration Program. If adopted, this regulation requires aircraft owners to complete a registration application and pay an annual fee of $150 for non-commercial aircraft, or $250 for aircraft used in commerce. Exemptions would exist for aircraft primarily operating in interstate commerce, or to foreign countries. Aircraft transiting the state are also exempt, along with those owned by the federal government or unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds. A waiver could be obtained for dismantled or not airworthy aircraft, or aircraft registered in other states, and not in Alaska for more than 180 days a year. Details are available: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=187638
Analysis of the proposal
While no one wants to see the cost to fly increase, the state’s financial situation is serious, with the decline of oil revenues that have funded about 90% of state services for several decades. While reducing their operating budget 22% since 2015, there is still a huge deficit to operate the 240 airports owned by DOT. The Governor’s Aviation Advisory Board looked at options to increase revenues, and supported increasing the aviation motor fuel tax, as the most efficient way to improve the situation, without expanding state government. See “Alaska Aviation Motor Fuel Tax Increase Under Discussion” for more details.
In a recent poll conducted by AOPA, the Alaska Airmens Association and the National Business Aviation Association, pilots across the state favored the motor fuel tax increase over either a registration fee or landing fees, although a significant number of people responding commented that they opposed any increased fees or taxes.
Please share your comments on this proposal with AOPA, as we navigate these challenging times to find the right balance to support aviation in Alaska.
To comment on this regulation
There are several ways to comment on this proposal. DOT will hold three hearings to take comments on the proposed regulation:
- November 9th 1st Floor Conference Room
3132 Channel Drive, Juneau
- November 14th Airport Response Center
Fairbanks International Airport
5195 Brumbaugh Blvd, Fairbanks
- November 20th Central Region Main Conference Room
4111 Aviation Ave, Anchorage
Comments may also be submitted by mail to:
Rich Sewell, Aviation Policy Planner
Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities
PO Box 196900
Anchorage, AK 99519
Comments must be received by 5:00 pm Alaska Standard Time on January 5, 2018.