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Arizona Airports Association

Legislative Advocacy

State Legislative Tools:

1. Find My Legislator 

2. AzAA State Legislative Priorities
a. Protect State Aviation Fund

In 1979, the State Aviation Fund was established to provide funding for planning, design, development, acquisition of land, construction and improvement of publicly owned and operated airport facilities in counties and incorporated cities and towns in the State of Arizona. The sources of revenue for this fund consist of the following: 1.) Flight Property Tax (FPT); 2.) Aircraft License (lieu) Tax; 3.) Aviation Fuel Tax; 4.) Grand Canyon Airport Revenue; 5.) Investment interest on the aviation fund balance and 6.) Miscellaneous revenue sources such as lieu tax penalties and interest on tax collections. These aviation sources were developed and dedicated to meet the State’s aviation funding needs, creating a type of “user fund” where the users benefit from their contributions.

Beginning in 1997, the State Legislature transferred funds from the State Aviation Fund into the State General Fund on numerous occasions as outlined in the table below. In 2019, the Legislature did a one-time reimbursement of $10 million from the General Fund to the Aviation Fund. The net transfers have amounted to over $104 million that was generated by aviation sources but used to support non-aviation uses.

The Arizona Airports Association (AZAA) strongly believes that it is extremely unwise to target a capital improvement fund that is a critical element of Arizona’s overall transportation system and the vitality of our state’s economy. We plan to work closely with ADOT and the State Legislature to enact additional changes to protect the fund.

b. Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) need to be regulated similar to other ground transportation providers

Technology is disrupting many existing markets. We have embraced this with Uber/Lyft in Arizona. Any legislation related to TNC’s must allow for Public Use Airports to regulate such services as commercial activities similar to other ground transportation providers at airports.

c. Peer to Peer Car Rentals must be regulated at Airports

As stated above, technology is disrupting many existing markets. We have embraced this with Uber/Lyft here in Arizona, and see this with AirBnb’s impact on the lodging market in Arizona. Peer to peer car rental companies are entrants into the modern car rental market that the law and regulation needs to address. There are complex tax related issues that must be considered, but for Public Airports especially, any state action must include the preservation of our ability to regulate such car rental commercial activities at Public Airports.

3. Talking Points on Importance of Aviation to Arizona

a. Aviation-related activities generate $32 billion in economic activity statewide. This activity is then multiplied to a total economic impact of $58 billion as spending by suppliers and users of aviation circulates within Arizona’s economy.

b. Aviation is directly responsible for 185,400 jobs that have $7.1 billion in annual payroll. Indirectly an additional 232,200 jobs are linked in some way to aviation in the State of Arizona generating a total of 408,600 jobs and $21.1 billion in annual payroll – 16.8% of the State’s total employment.

c. Aviation activity annually generates $1.8 billion in tax revenue for Arizona.

d. Aviation saves lives via emergency response, medical and firefighting services. In addition, there are numerous health clinics conducted by specialists throughout the State. These specialists typically fly in general aviation aircraft and provide services that would otherwise require patients to travel to Phoenix or Tucson.

e. Aviation plays a critical role in mail and package delivery.

f. More than 9.9 million visitors rely on air transportation to reach Arizona each year.

g. Arizona is a leader in aviation education and pilot training.

4. Tips for in person meetings

a. Identify your main message. Before the meeting, determine what the main message that you want to convey to your legislator is. For instance, "please play a leadership role in advancing policies to reduce the threat of climate change” or “please vote for bills that will reduce climate change pollution."

b. Determine roles for participants. If more than one person is meeting with the legislator designate a group leader to open and close the meeting and a different person to present each issue or main message.

c. Prepare and practice for the meeting. It's always a good idea to run-through what you intend to say before the meeting itself. If you are meeting with a group of people, have each person practice their part in front of the group. Time permitting—hold a dry run of the entire meeting. Remember to dress nicely, business attire is appropriate. If you are meeting in Washington, D.C. business/formal dress is required in the Capitol building.

d. Introduce yourself. Tell your legislator or staff person your name, where you are from, and that you are a constituent. If you represent an organization, note its name, where the group is located, and the size of its membership. If you are associated with a specific institution, identify it and your field of study (i.e. ecology). If you have any family, social, business, or political ties to the legislator, mention them as well. If possible, thank the member for a good stand they recently took on an issue and/or mention if you voted for the member. At a minimum, thank them for taking the time to meet with you.

e. Take the initiative. State clearly and concisely what issue you want to discuss, what your position is, and what action you want the member to take. Follow this with facts about why they should take your position. Ask questions the legislator can respond "yes" or "no." Press politely for a commitment, unless the member is clearly opposed to your position or to making a commitment.

f. Make a local connection. Stress how the issue will affect the legislator's district or state and, if possible, tell a personal story that highlights your experience with the issue and why you care about it.

5. Tips for written communication to your legislature

a. Use your own words (don't copy someone else's form letter) and keep your message clear, concise, and as brief as possible – ideally about 500 words or less.

b. Identify yourself as a constituent by including your home and/or work address in the representative's district.

c. Where appropriate, include a brief description of your organization or company. If your business is located in the member's district, be sure to make this clear.

d. Identify the issue and the bill (if applicable) that you are addressing.

e. Support your position by including examples whenever possible. Describe the personal impact, both economic and emotional, of passage or defeat of legislation on you, your organization and/or your community.

f. Personalize your letter as much as possible. Avoid sending a form letter if you don't wish to receive one in response.

g. Make it short and to the point. Address only one issue in each message. Be specific.

h. Ask for support or action from the member, e.g. vote against the bill. Remember: If you don't ask for anything, then you won't get anything.

6. Tips for hosting a virtual legislative meeting

a. Train your advocates. Keep instructions simple and consider making a video tutorial. This is new for everyone involved, so be ready to provide one-on-one technology support. It’s the advocacy professional’s job to remove unnecessary hurdles and be flexible with legislative offices or advocates who are less sophisticated with technology. Training is the single most important step.

b. Test your tech. Make sure your technology works. Ultimately you will also want to test your platform with a friendly legislative staffer and advocate to work out any issues beforehand.

c. Less is more. You shouldn’t expect to host as many meetings as you would during an in-person fly-in. This is the time to work on quality, high-value meetings.

d. Hold shorter, more focused meetings. Do not expect to have an hour — or even 30 minutes. And resist discussing multiple complex issues. Stick to one or two issues and make sure they are relevant and timely. Otherwise your advocacy efforts may be sidelined during the crisis.

e. Use visuals. When using video, you have an opportunity to show off your office, technology or other helpful demonstration. You can give a legislator a quick site tour using your phone and make key points without having to bring the legislator to you.

Contact Us
1800 E. Ray Rd.,
Suite A106
Chandler, AZ 85225
P: (480) 403-4618
F: (480) 935-5270

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