AGC Seeks Increased Funding for Airport Infrastructure
Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee officially kicked-off the reauthorization process for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a markup of the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act. The AIRR Act, which fundamentally transforms air traffic control operations, is expected to pass the committee later this evening. It is important that representatives and senators hear from AGC members(link is external) about the need for increased funding for airport runway and infrastructure projects The FAA is currently operating under an extension that expires on March 31.
Throughout the reauthorization process, modernizing airport infrastructure financing and increasing funding for the Airport Improvement Program have been priorities of AGC. Unfortunately, the bill fails to modernize the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), keeping the current cap of $4.50 per flight segment ($18 maximum per roundtrip ticket) in place. The bill does stabilize funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and in fact increases the authorization for the program from $3.350 billion in FY 2016 to $3.817 in FY 2022.
Prior to the markup, AGC(link is external) and the AGC co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition(link is external) sent letters to the committee requesting increased funding for the AIP program and increasing the cap on PFCs. An AGC-supported amendment by Reps Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) to increase the AIP even further than provided in the AIRR Act passed by a vote of 47-12. An amendment to raise the cap on PFCs was offered by Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) but was not voted on. Amendments opposed by AGC to expand Buy America requirements on FAA projects were offered but were not voted on.