FAA Furlough Bill Fixed, Waiting For Signature
The bill that would give the FAA the ability to shift money from its airport improvement budget to suspend furloughs of its employees still has not been signed into law because of a spelling error. A missing "S" in the bill rushed through both houses to end a week of delays and political turmoil surrounding the furloughs prevented President Obama from signing it. The Senate passed an amended bill Tuesday and it was to have passed the House by late in the day. The president was expected to sign it by the end of the day but that had not been confirmed by our deadline. The original bill was so rushed that parts of it were handwritten. Meanwhile, the pundits are speculating that air transportation will take a back seat to surface projects under Obama's pick for a Transportation Secretary.
As we reported Monday, Obama nominated Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to replace the outgoing Ray LaHood, who announced he was stepping down in January. Airlines are hopeful that Foxx will maintain a full appreciation for air transport since he presided over the construction of a third runway at Charlotte-Douglas Airport in Charlotte. But Joshua Schank of the Eno Center for Transportation thinks he's focused on roads and rail. "Even though he may have had some experience dealing with an airport, his choice represents an emphasis on metropolitan areas," Schank said. "I would imagine that aviation would be a secondary consideration for him."