On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the transportation appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2015, which starts October 1, to move toward a floor vote for the entire chamber. If passed as written, the bill would provide $15.86 billion to the FAA in FY2015, $580 million more than the Obama Administration’s request.
Notably, the committee provided $149 million for the contract tower program, including $10.35 million for the cost-share program; both amounts exceed the Administration’s request. These levels are close to those requested by 11 aviation associations, including NATA and NBAA, in a letter sent to House and Senate appropriators in April.
Like the House transportation bill, the Senate version expressed support for streamlining the Part 23 certification process and requested a report on how the FAA is coming along in implementing Aviation Rulemaking Committee recommendations.
According to NATA, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated that at least two weeks will be set aside this month for the consideration of appropriations bills. The full House will take up its version of the transportation funding bill as early as this week, NATA said.