The Bush Administration has proposed a $14 billion reauthorization budget for the FAA for fiscal year 2004, taking a bigger bite from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund but calling for no new user fees. The FAA spending plan is part of the overall Transportation Department budget package, and is up slightly from the $13.6 billion requested for FY 2003.
Presidency of George W. Bush
By the middle of last month, both houses of Congress had given preliminary approval to separate legislation that would reauthorize appropriations for the FAA. The House version is titled the Flight 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Flight 100-CARA) and covers the next four fiscal years, while the Senate version is named the Aviation Investment and Revitalization Vision Act (AIR-V) and would be for three years.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has raised its estimates of budget deficits. Earlier this year, the prediction was for a deficit of $46 billion for the current fiscal year. However, individual tax receipts were recently projected to run some $40 billion below expectations, and that has caused experts to guess that the deficit could go upwards of $70 billion.
The General Aviation Industry Reparations Act (H.R.3347) encountered rough air when the Bush Administration asked lawmakers to put off a vote on the measure because its estimated cost had ballooned from the original $450 million to more than $5.5 billion.
Perhaps she didn’t know what crowd she was addressing, but Transportation Secretary Mary Peters voiced disapproval of the recently passed House FAA reauthorization bill (H.R.2881) at today’s opening ceremonies of the 60th annual NBAA Convention in Atlanta.
General aviation late last week won a major battle, but not yet the entire war, against user fees. The House of Representatives last Thursday approved H.R.2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, and the next morning the Senate Finance Committee drastically modified the tax provisions in its companion bill, S.1300.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will become president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) when her term as head of the agency ends September 13. AIA is an Arlington, Va.-based trade association representing the nation’s manufacturers of civil and military aerospace products.
Despite heavy lobbying by general aviation groups, a promising effort to have the concept of user fees for ATC services stricken from the Senate’s version of an FAA reauthorization bill failed narrowly in mid-May by a 12-11 vote.
• At the end of March, lawmakers took a spring break that ended in mid-April, leaving in a holding pattern approval of House and Senate supplemental emergency spending bills totaling $124 billion for the Iraq war. On their return, they
Aerospace Industries Association president and CEO John Douglass warned Congress that government agencies must redouble efforts to develop the nation’s next generation air transportation system (NextGen) or the nation will suffer serious operational–and economic–impacts.