Following the recent House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approval of a six-year, $69 billion Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, the following information captures highlights of the legislation.
Of particular interest to the construction industry is the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) within the bill. AIP provides grants to local owners for the development of public-use airports, including the construction and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, etc. AIP funds can be used on most airfield capital improvements or repairs.
ACPA, working with PCA and NAPA, continues to advocate for the authorization of $4 million in annual funding for pavement research ($2 million for concrete and $2 million for asphalt). The concrete and asphalt industries received funding for airport pavement research for the first time in 2000 when ACPA led an initiative to secure funding in the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.
The Senate is awaiting House action before it will consider of FAA reauthorization. However, members have already expressed their concern over one of the most controversial aspects of the legislation, the removal of the operation and management of US air traffic control from the legislation. If this and other details are not worked out before the current authorization expires on March 31, an extension will be likely.