The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed congressional passage of annual appropriations legislation that increases funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reaffirms concerns over privatization of air traffic control (ATC).
Specifically, the budgeting legislation provides robust funding for the FAA’s operational, capital and research programs: $16.41 billion in budgetary resources, totaling $127 million above last year’s amount, and $507.5 million above the president’s request. The plan also includes language giving the agency more flexibility on how those funds are spent.
Additionally, an explanatory statement accompanying the final legislation affirms the opposition from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to ATC privatization, stating: “The attempt to remove the air traffic control system from the FAA is fraught with risk, could lead to uncontrollable cost increases to consumers, and could ultimately harm users of and operators in the system, including the flying public, the aviation community, FAA’s workforce, and the small towns in rural America that rely on access to the national airspace.”
“NBAA commends Congress for passing this legislation, and we particularly appreciate the leadership of the House and Senate appropriators on the measure,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.
“This bill recognizes the importance of making a continued investment to ensure America retains its global leadership position in aviation, and NBAA was proud to advocate for the language giving the FAA increased flexibility in the use of resources, thereby providing the agency with more tools in its toolbox to help ensure that its programs have stable, predictable funding,” Bolen continued.
“We are also pleased that the language accompanying the bill underscores the concerns over ATC privatization that have long been raised by NBAA and other organizations, as well as by federal and local elected officials, and most voters.”
The provisions related to FAA funding and ATC privatization are part of a comprehensive federal agency funding bill.