DeFazio and Larsen devise Legislation for FAA funding during Shutdown
Automatic Draws from Airport and Airway Trust Fund
Aviation Trade Associations Coalition supports
U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and aviation subcommittee chair Rick Larsen (D-Washington) introduced H.R. 1108, the “AVIATION FUNDING STABILITY ACT OF 2019”. AFSA would provide an independent source, the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), which would provide funding for FAA programs and personnel during future government shutdowns.
The consequences or, more impactfully, the threats of possible disasters caused by the 35-day partial shutdown, were the catalysts for these new Democratic leaders of the House T&I/Aviation committees/subcommittee, to create this proposal for a permanent solution. would enable the FAA to continue to receive funding from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) and continue operating at current funding levels in the event of another government shutdown.
The elements of this no fault funding would be:
- Authorize the FAA to continue to draw from the AATF during a lapse, with no General Fund contributions. The AATF generates enough revenue from the domestic passenger ticket tax, commercial fuel tax, general aviation gasoline tax, and cargo tax, among other sources, to sustain all of the agency’s programs without a General Fund contribution.
- Allow the entire agency to operate at current funding levels, with no Congressional action required. This ensures that all FAA programs function uninterrupted and that all FAA employees are paid for their important work.
Another unintended consequence of the interdiction of FAA employees from their “unessential work” was to coalesce the otherwise factitious aviation groups in this list;
- Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)
- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
- Airlines for America (A4A)
- Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA)
- American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)
- Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA)
- Delta Air Lines
- General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
- Helicopter Association International (HAI)
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
- National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
- National Association of State Aviation Safety Officials (NASAO)
- National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
- Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS)
- Regional Airline Association (RAA)
- Transport Workers Union of America (TWU)
The support of ACI and AAAE are most magnanimous since the cash will be drawn down from AATF, the primary source of airport development projects. H.R. 1108 does not specify if or when the expenditures would be replenished.
Another question and possible impediment to the AFSA would be copy cat proposals. Might USDA, the National Park Service or other “operational’ federal agencies seek the same remedy?
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