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HAI’s Sees Bush Funding Plan as "Extremely Detrimental"

By James T. McKenna | March 23, 2007

The Bush Administration's plan to fund the FAA by raising fees paid by general aviation would have “an extremely detrimental economic impact” on helicopter operators and could drive many of them out of business, Helicopter Assn. International President Matthew Zuccaro told Congress. In testimony March 22 before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Aviation Subcommittee, Zuccaro said, “the obvious fact is that the helicopter community places the least demand on the air traffic control and airport system.”  The Bush plan would more than triple the current surcharge and create new or higher fees for such things as pilot licensing, aircraft certification and other services. Zuccaro pointed out that helicopters do not use the airport facilities to the extent that commercial fixed-wing airplanes do. He added that, during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, helicopter owners and operators spent millions to put an infrastructure in place for relief operations. Zuccaro recommended the majority of any funds contributed by the helicopter community be budgeted for a national heliport system.  For related news

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