Bill Would Keep FAA Funded In Shutdown

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Aviation groups are lining up to support a bill that would keep the FAA funded during a government shutdown by temporarily shifting its source of money. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen, D-Wash., introduced the bill on Friday. If passed, the bill would allow money for operations to be taken out of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is normally used for construction, infrastructure and technology projects. While there was no money for wages and other operational expenses during the shutdown, the trust fund remained fully funded. The National Business Aviation Association and National Air Traffic Controllers Association were the first to applaud the proposed legislation.

“Aviation is among the nation’s most regulated industries, requiring oversight and a host of services from the FAA,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “This bill would help ensure that aviation—a key component in the nation’s economy and transportation system—will avoid a potentially harmful disruption in the event of a government shutdown.” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said that unusual circumstances demand creative solutions and after careful review the organization got behind the move. “There is no doubt that the status quo is broken and has been for some time. The 35-day shutdown was just the latest of many instances in which FAA, its workforce and the aviation industry were held hostage by a political fight that had nothing to do with aviation,” Rinaldi said. He said “stop-and-go funding” affects people and projects long after the money starts flowing again and stable funding is a cornerstone of maintaining and operating the system properly.

Comments (5)

So, apparently it is okay to throw food safety (FDA), worker safety (OSHA), environmental protection (EPA), etc. under the bus so long as we can keep those bizjets flying? Of course NATCA and NBAA support this bill. Rinaldi is correct, that stable funding is a cornerstone of proper system operation, but that goes for all government functions and not just the one that catches the most press. Our politicians need to grow up and stop using federal employees as pawns in some bizarre game of chicken. How about passing a bill to prevent that?

Posted by: John McNamee | February 9, 2019 11:35 AM    Report this comment

You're right, of course.

But if another shutdown is in the offing, the entire future of the administration will depend on how NATCA responds. Now might be a good time for Rinaldi to demand a raise.

Posted by: kim hunter | February 9, 2019 12:23 PM    Report this comment

Here we go again. Going to bed with politicians who smell votes and promise the healthy Lala-Land of honey and whipped cream and lots of Facebook likes, to those who would fall for it. Hope the NBAA won't suddenly collectively vote D.... because under D leadership, business aviation was kind of... POOH BAH!

Our commander in chief is very likely going to continue with this agenda and crippling the aviation industry is collateral damage he will not hesitate to inflict, in order to get his demands met. None of his democratic colleagues would do anything different, if power and control over the country rested with them. We'll see a similar movie in 6-8 years, when the goal isn't to prevent THE WALL (movie idea?) but to tear it back down after building it.

Proposal: we should be asking fees for the great political dog and pony show everyone gets to watch for free, currently. Could this be used as revenue to pay for paycheck derived federal employees in a few weeks when we go into cramping and constipation mode again?

Posted by: Jason Baker | February 11, 2019 3:15 AM    Report this comment

" If passed, the bill would allow money for operations to be taken out of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which is normally used for construction, infrastructure and technology projects."

This is money that comes from pilots paying gas taxes at the fuel pumps. Congress, for years, has been trying to get to this money. This is one of the last source of funds that actually has the cash in it...unlike Social security which is now a big IOU and has to be funded from other sources to make up the shortfall caused by our legislators penchant for spending.

The government shutdowns of the future is the Trojan Horse to get to it. Don't think for a minute when the next "shutdown" occurs, that money raided from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund will be replenished. It will now be the new normal to get access to funds they previously had no access to outside of its intended purposes.

Can you imagine the drain on that fund after several weeks of subsidizing government employees paychecks? Good luck getting that pothole in the runway fixed let alone any airport improvements.

This is our legislators new modus operendi for getting more revenue by making us think they are so benevolent and sympathetic to the families affected by their shutdowns. It is still the same plan of robbing from one fund to pay for another. But now, is done because of their 'compassion" for families, and their "concern" for public safety, with our full knowledge and acquiescence of another Ponzi scheme.

Posted by: Jim Holdeman | February 11, 2019 9:40 AM    Report this comment

Finally someone is bringing this up. Thanks Jim!

Posted by: kim hunter | February 11, 2019 3:29 PM    Report this comment

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