RAA Urges Congress To Reject New Taxes on Passengers and Airlines
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Posted by: Admin
WASHINGTON, DC--September 20, 2011 – The Regional Airline Association (RAA) today urged Congress to reject two new taxes on airline passengers proposed yesterday by the President: one tripling the security tax paid by airline passengers and the other imposing a new, $100 per flight tax on each departure regardless of the size of the aircraft.
These two new taxes which combined would add nearly $900 million in new taxes on passengers ($408M) and airlines ($475M) in just the first year could cause sharp service reductions at all U.S. communities, outright elimination of scheduled air service at potentially hundreds of small- and medium-sized communities, and would aggravate the country’s jobs crisis beginning Day One by threatening the job security of 53,000 airline workers.
"The context and math here is pretty easy to understand”, said RAA President Roger Cohen, “The new per flight tax alone would cost more than all regional airlines likely earned combined last year, jeopardizing the jobs of the 53,000 men and women who work directly for our member airlines and the thousands of other people whose livelihoods are tied to regional airlines.”
“These new taxes will also cut the legs out from the 500 U.S. communities who rely exclusively on regional airlines for their only scheduled flights,” added Cohen. “Last year 163.5 million passengers flew regional airlines, but there’s just no way we can continue to serve them when you add up the tripled security taxes on passengers flying multiple connecting legs and combine that with $100 per flight charges on planes with as few as nine passengers.
"RAA urges lawmakers to protect airline passengers from higher costs, preserve air service to communities large and small, and save the jobs of 53,000 regional airline workers by holding the line on aviation taxes. Please tell President Obama that our nation's debt crisis will be worsened, not solved, by eliminating air service and jobs across the nation," Cohen concluded.
With safety as its highest priority, RAA represents North American regional airlines, and the manufacturers of products and services supporting the regional airline industry, before the Congress, DOT, FAA and other federal agencies.
With more than 13,000 regional airline flights every day, regional airlines operate more than half of the nation’s commercial schedule. Last year 163.5 million passengers, more than one of every five domestic airline passengers flew on a regional airline, and the 2,600 regional aircraft comprise about 40 percent of the US commercial passenger fleet. Most notably, regional airlines serve 673 communities across the country and in 496 of those communities -- 75 percent of the US - - regional airlines provide the only scheduled service.
Founded in 1975, Washington, DC-based RAA also provides a wide array of technical, government relations and public relations services for regional airlines. The association's 30 member airlines and nearly 200 associate members represent the key decision makers of this vital sector of the commercial aviation industry.