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‘Climate mitigation fee’ bill has hard landing in Massachusetts

AOPA and other aviation groups and individual pilots turned out in force to oppose the measure proposed by state Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro), “to mitigate the climate impact of private and corporate air travel” with landing fees of not less than $1,000.

The bill’s basic flaws—from impermissible revenue diversion away from mandated aviation uses to the economic impact on pilots, state airports, and jobs—quickly emerged. But the bid to impose onerous costs on general aviation to finance nonaviation infrastructure upgrades galvanized what AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins described as “one of the best responses we’ve ever had” to a member action alert when AOPA notified the 5,000 members in Massachusetts about the bill and requested that they speak out against it.

“This proposal was a disaster from the start, but AOPA members in Massachusetts deserve a lot of credit for engaging on this,” he said.

The Massachusetts Airport Management Association issued a statement on the defeat of the landing fee, acknowledging the impact of “the coordinated efforts of aviation organizations” and “dozens of comments filed by Massachusetts airports and individuals.”

“We are pleased to see that this ill-conceived bill, which would have been devastating to Massachusetts’ airports, will not move forward in the Massachusetts legislature,” said Tom Hurley, the organization’s executive director. “Rather, we would urge lawmakers and state and federal regulators to adequately fund our statewide airports to assure safety, economic and educational development and prepare for the new, sustainable technologies that are just around the corner.”

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