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General aviation helps lift communities to new heights

BY BRENT KISLING Published: September 29, 2012

Despite all the benefits of community airports and general aviation, many people aren't aware of their value. A new proposal would place a $100-per-flight “user fee” tax on the small businesses, farms, nonprofits and communities that rely on these aircraft. Worse, this new tax system would create a new bureaucracy within the FAA to collect the taxes. The current system is a fuel tax that's simple to comply with and administer. It's fair and proportionate to use.

Luckily, the importance of these airports and our air transportation system isn't lost on state and local leaders. Gov. Mary Fallin has written to the president to ask the administration to recognize the critical importance of small aircraft to our local economy and communities across Oklahoma. She also declared August “Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month.”

These are commendable steps that will help raise awareness about this crucial form of transportation for our state and the national economy.

Kisling is executive director of the Enid Regional Development Alliance.