...House Ups Ante On Transportation Spending...

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While the White House was trying to cut FAA spending (perhaps the source of much of this year's funding angst at the agency), the House of Representatives is apparently not thinking that way. Last week, the House approved $14.3 billion for the FAA's 2006 budget, $235 million more than last year and a full $1 billion more than the administration has asked for. According to NBAA's assessment of the bill, which will be considered by the Senate next month, about 30 percent of the $8.19 billion set aside for operations will come from general revenue while the balance will be generated through taxes collected under the Airport and Airways Trust Fund. The FAA budget also includes $3.55 billion for airport improvements and $2.5 billion for equipment and facilities as part of the agency's modernization. A total of 595 new air traffic controllers will be hired and trained at a cost of $25 million and there's $12 million going to hire more certification and safety inspectors.