Secretary’s Tour of FAA Facility Precipitates a Statement on AIP Funding

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Good news, the Secretary makes a major pronouncement on funding of the Airport Improvement Program funding or lack thereof! At the FAA Hughes Technical Center (see above) he announced support (see below blog).

A little over a year ago, Secretary Foxx was sworn in as the US Department Secretary of Transportation. His primary qualification for the position was his work as the owner of the Charlotte International Airport. Consistent with the Obama Administration’s minimal emphasis on aviation matters, the Secretary has not made many initiatives about the FAA, NextGen or AIP funding.

The event was a walk-through with Aviation Subcommittee Chairman LoBiondo of the facility located in his district, and the New Jersey congressman is a major supporter of this FAA laboratory. Along with the full Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Shuster, they are aggressively examining the 2015 Reauthorization bill’s parameters including AIP and NextGen funding. Administrator Huerta was also a participant in the event.

The Secretary’s blog mentions his daughter’s remark to him about air transportation, a frequent theme of his aviation talks, walks through the Tech Center’s extensive work on NextGen and alludes to the airports’ funding, as follows:

Even with all of the recent focus on our Highway Trust Fund, we haven’t forgotten that the FAA –the agency responsible for safeguarding American aviation– is still operating at historically low funding levels. So you can be sure we’ll keep working with Congress, in advance of next year, to secure stable funding and to pass a new FAA reauthorization bill.”

It took a while to get Secretary Foxx’s attention. Thanks Administrator Huerta and Chairman LoBiondo. With this impetus, hopefully there will be greater attention of the program authorization and funding mechanisms for both AIP and NextGen.

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