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Flightplans - March 2010

The proposed Delaware aviation bills have generated a lot of debate amongst the
board members of DAS. To us non-political types, it is surprising that we can
see bills we can completely support and then the next time it passes through our
hands it has turned into something quite different. The two bills, in a nutshell,
are a five cent per gallon tax on jet fuel (agricultural use exempt) and a registration
fee for airplanes registered but not based in Delaware (estimated at 16,500
aircraft). The fee ranges from $25 to $500. To my understanding, these bills
come from a collaboration of the Delaware Aviation Advisory Board and DELDOT.
The impetus was the projected needs for aviation projects is $1,350,000
per year. The major costs being matching money for FAA grants (which could
multiply state funds by 90-95%) and “Acquisition of development rights”, but
also includes Office of Aeronautical operation costs and safety needs, such as
obstruction removal. The jet fuel bill is projected to generate $250,000 per year
(add the current Avgas tax for a total of $480K). The registration fee is projected
to generate $1.5 million per year. These numbers are estimates and can
be disputed.