FAA Shutdown: $300 Million and Counting In Lost Funds for Aviation Upgrades
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2011
Alexandria, VA -- The amount of revenue targeted for aviation system improvements lost in the wake of the ongoing shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration and the expiration of the agency's authority to collect aviation excise taxes has surpassed an estimated $300 million, as highlighted on the American Association of Airport Executives' (AAAE) "Lost Revenue Counter," which can be viewed at www.aaae.org. The Department of Transportation estimates that $200 million a week in tax revenue that would otherwise flow to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund is lost as a result of the inability of Congress to provide the FAA with taxing and program authority that expired on June 23.
Given the growing cost of the impasse in terms of lost revenue for aviation system upgrades and with many current airport construction projects on hold, AAAE today renewed its call for Congress to take some action prior to leaving Washington for the scheduled August recess.
"The price to airports, the aviation system, and the nation of continued congressional inaction to restore FAA taxes and programs grows by the day," AAAE President Chip Barclay said. "A number of airports in cold-weather states are in jeopardy of losing their entire construction season, and many more are growing increasingly concerned that the prolonged impasse will lead to project delays and cancellations that could take years to recover from."
AAAE has called on Congress to quickly pass a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill or a short-term extension that includes $3.515 billion in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) program authority -- the same amount that lawmakers approved as part of a budget agreement earlier this year. Additionally, the association has called for a "clawback" from airlines of resources that have not been collected for the Airport and Airway Trust Fund as a result of the impasse. Notably, most carriers have increased fares to correspond with the amount they previously collected from expired aviation taxes.
"As it stands now, the airlines -- which continue to rely on FAA air traffic control services and airport infrastructure -- are getting a free ride for their use of the aviation system," Barclay noted. "The system is designed as a fee-for-service arrangement in which the carriers pay into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and in turn receive air traffic and airport services, which are essential to their continued operation. Today, the carriers are receiving the service, but no longer paying the fee. That situation must be corrected."
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ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE (www.aaae.org) is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.
Sean Broderick, AAAE External Communications
O: (703) 824-0500, Ext. 126
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