...Lost In Larger Problems
Although the FAA's $60 billion reauthorization bill stretches over four years, GA advocates don't have to wait four years to take their next shot, West said. The spending bills still need to be voted on every year. "Appropriations is an annual process, and we can work for GA relief in fiscal year 2005," he told AVweb. Talks should begin soon in Washington about spending in 2005, he said, but it's a long, slow road. "The reality is, these GA companies have been hurting since September 2001, and we need to stop the bleeding now," he said. But with a war and a deficit and domestic demands on the budget, not to mention an election, that is easier said than done. On a positive note, West added, the bill included $3.4 billion for airport improvement projects, which is an increase of $100 million over last time. But how much of that will go to GA airports is not yet clear.