nbaa leads effort on fuel tax suspension for non-commercial operators

April 15, 2020

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) joined with five other general aviation (GA) groups to request that Congress implement temporary relief from federal excise taxes on fuel for non-commercial general aviation operators, as was recently granted to commercial operators under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Specifically, NBAA and the other groups requested suspension until Jan. 1, 2021 – the same timeframe granted to commercial operators – of the 21.9 cents per gallon tax on jet fuel, 19.4 cents per gallon tax on aviation gasoline and 14.1 cents per gallon surtax on qualified fractional aircraft operations.
Temporary fuel tax relief would provide a valuable incentive to preserve jobs at thousands of GA small businesses and help bolster traffic to small community airports, which have seen their operations and fuel sales decline by more than 50% across the country as GA flying has dropped by nearly 60%, noted NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

“General aviation is a vital part of our nation’s aviation ecosystem,” he continued. “In addition to supporting flights at smaller airports around our country, temporary suspension of federal excise taxes for GA operators to preserve jobs, thus ensuring that our industry is ready and able to promptly resume flying once this crisis passes.”

In the letter sent April 15 to U.S. House and Senate leadership, the associations also noted the important role GA and non-commercial business aviation pilots have played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in providing critical lift for medical supplies, personnel and patients.

“In addition to connecting small communities without airline service, general aviation has a proven track record of providing humanitarian assistance,” the letter reads. “Recently, our industry facilitated the delivery of one million protective face masks and more than half a million COVID-19 test kits from China. Other operators are using aircraft to transport medical supplies around New York and assist with the logistics of moving medical equipment around the world.”

View the April 15 letter from NBAA and five other general aviation groups to Congress. (PDF)

View the NBAA resource titled Fuel Tax Relief: Critical to Recovery of General Aviation Small Businesses. (PDF)

Other groups signing onto the letter include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA); General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA); Helicopter Association International (HAI); and National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

The association urges members to use NBAA’s Contact Congress resource to contact their elected officials and explain that fuel tax relief will help general aviation businesses in their recovery.