House Committee Wants FAA Funding Boost

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Congress appears to be loosening the purse strings for the cash-strapped FAA. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development has approved $14.4 billion in spending for the FAA for the 2006 fiscal year. That's up $877 million (about 6 percent) over last year. Whether it's enough to quell the numerous funding-related issues that cropped up during the past six months or so is another matter but initial reaction seems hopeful. The National Business Aviation Association notes that $25 million has been allocated to hire 600 new air traffic controllers while the General Aviation Manufacturers Association is cheering the restoration of staffing and budget levels in the seemingly always manpower-short Aircraft Certification Service. Most of the $14.4 billion goes to day-to-day operations of the massive bureaucracy, to the tune of $8.2 billion. There's also $3.6 billion in the airport improvement program, some of which, we assume, will be somewhere other than Chicago. As encouraging as the bill seems to be, it has a long way to go before those checks are in the mail, however. The Senate subcommittee must also submit its bill, then both houses have to agree on its final form and they have to pass it before the president signs it into law. A lot can happen (and has happened) along the way...