The Empire Strikes Back at General Aviation

Harrison Ford and the Campaign to Prevent User Fees

Years ago he flew the Millennium Falcon. starwars121

Now, he flies better equipment including a Cessna CJ3, Aviat Husky, Cessna Caravan, Bell 407 and de Havilland Beaver.

The U.S. ”Empire” is planning to “strike back” at general aviation. President Obama proposed user fees to start in 2011 to the tune of $7.5 billion dollars. Many, including me, believe this plan has the potential to cripple general aviation. Hundreds of beginner and veteran pilots  will stop flying. Manufacturers, business and airports will be affected.

May the Force be with us

Today’s Wall Street Journal mentions that Harrison Ford agreed to be the spokesman for the new campaign from AOPA to prevent user fees from hurting general aviation.hford1 Mr. Ford gives the explanation.

General aviation provides an economic lifeline for communities across America,” said Harrison Ford, “Millions of jobs and businesses of all sizes depend on small aircraft serving our country every day.”

Why it Matters

General aviation represents $150 billion in revenue and provides 1.3 million jobs. It supports law enforcement, medevac, and emergency services, as well as aiding disaster relief efforts. General Aviation includes crop dusters, overnight freight and business support. It’s the way most pilots get training. Forestry, search and rescue, firefighting, energy, and construction all depend on it. That’s why there’s over 5,300 general aviation airports in the U.S. in addition to the 600 that support scheduled flights. There’s at least 10,000 more private use landing areas and helipads

As Chief Justice John Marshall stated: “The power to Tax is the power to destroy”. We will eventually run out things to tax. Don’t make us bring out the Wookie.

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2 responses to “The Empire Strikes Back at General Aviation

  1. Well, good for Mr. Ford; we spam can types need all the help we can get in these austere times. It’s not a good thing to be thought of as “rich” these days, and the heavy iron users aren’t helping by trying to saddle us with a greater share of the burden for “their” ATC system.

    Like your T-6 picture too, Wilko. I have a few hours of dual in the Harvard MkIV (Canadian-built version), and it was very humbling. Especially in the spin…..

  2. Ford’s star power will hopefully reach the vast majority who are used to short sound bites and don’t study the issues. However, as much as I appreciate his support, most people can’t relate to his investment in aircraft, which is in the millions of dollars. That’s not the typical GA pilot.
    So, I hope America gets the whole story and helps us stop user fees. Many of the planes on the ramp cost less than the boats I see on Lake Michigan. But the current administarion in Washington and the general public think of the Gulfstream set.

    Appreciate the comment. The SNJ/Harvard/ T6 makes anyone look good standing by it and can make almost anyone look bad flying it if they’re not careful.

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