February 11, 2009
What's at Issue
The U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, containing $838 billion to stimulate our nation's ailing economy. The proposed legislation includes infrastructure funding designed to aid highway, bridge, railroad and aviation projects that have been put on hold due to lack of federal and state funding. Specifically, between $1.1 and $3 billion could be provided in the final bill for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) projects. As the conference committee convenes to resolve the differences between the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate versions of the legislation, it is important to note that the House retained the local matching requirement for AIP funds, but waived the requirement for highway, rail and other projects. However, the Senate version provides for 100% funding of airport improvement projects.
Why It's Important
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), funding aviation infrastructure projects within the AIP alone would permit essential ready-to-go projects such as taxiway rehabilitation and widening, apron construction and rehabilitation, airport rescue and firefighting equipment and facilities, and public access roads to proceed without further delay. In addition, 75,000 jobs are expected to be created with these funds alone. Although federally funded transportation projects are normally required to certify a percentage of the total project funding from the local level, the struggling economy and declining state funding levels are making the local match for AIP projects more difficult. Requiring communities to support a local match for airport improvement projects when other transportation modes are not is unjustified and unfair to America's airports and aviation businesses.
What to Do
Contact your Members of Congress by visiting NATA's Legislative Action Center. NATA's Legislative Action Center provides association members with a quick and easy way to email letters in support of the Senate's provision to provide 100% funding for airport improvement projects to House and Senate members who serve on the conference committee resolving the differences between the two versions of the economic stimulus bill.
The delay of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 has halted critical aviation infrastructure projects that are not only essential to our airports' ability to generate economic benefits, but also to the safety and security at our nation's airports. NATA is pleased that Congress included aviation infrastructure funding in the proposed legislation and that the Senate provided a full federal funding guarantee for AIP funds. As the House and Senate come together to resolve differences in each bill, it is critical that the local match requirement be removed and that 100% funding for airport improvement projects be provided.
Please act today as the conference committee is expected to wrap up deliberations by week's end!
Staff Contact: Kristen Moore
Director, Legislative Affairs
Download PDF of Action Call
For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.