Another casualty of the economic downturn could be funding for necessary airport infrastructure projects, according to Kathryn Solee, director of operations for the National Association of State Aviation Officials.
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A story on general aviation airports in the September 17 issue of USA Today, and a companion video news segment broadcast that same day on NBC’s Today show, drew intense fire from the aviation alphabet groups representing general and business aviation.
Both the House and the Senate have begun the arduous process of reauthorizing the FAA, in other words replacing the historic Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21), which set spending priorities for the past three fiscal years. AIR-21 expires September 30, the end of fiscal year 2003.
The Iowa DOT’s office of aviation reports that the federal funding program approved by Congress and signed by President Bush last month bodes well for the state’s 77 airports, only eight of which offer airline service. Under the reauthorized Airport Improvement Program (AIP), local authorities of eligible airports now need to supply only 5 percent of funds required for airport projects.