Congress Enacts Legislation to End ATC Furloughs
On April 26, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that permits the transfer of up to $253 million from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) or any other agency “program or accounts” to its operations budget. The Senate passed an identical bill the evening before.
The reallocation is expected to allow the FAA to prevent further furloughs of air traffic controllers (through the end of the fiscal year). It is also anticipated that the increased operations account funding will stop the closure of contract air traffic control towers. President Obama has indicated he will sign the legislation into law in the near future.
“ARSA continues to believe that Congress must give the FAA the resources to fulfill its congressionally mandated activities,” said Daniel Fisher, ARSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs. “When lawmakers don’t allow the FAA to carry out its basic functions the entire aviation industry suffers. While the legislation averts air traffic delays now, it is not a long-term solution to the FAA’s fiscal challenges.”