Shortly before leaving for winter recess, congressional leaders reached a budget agreement that could be good news for the FAA — and general aviation, according to a report at AOPA.org. The budget deal, reached between Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), does not contain any user fees for general aviation. And while the president’s budget proposal is likely to once again recommend a $100-per-flight user fee for general aviation, opposition to the idea remains strong in Congress. It also increases discretionary spending for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, which means painful sequestration cuts can be avoided — so control towers, NextGen, and other big-ticket items should be more or less unaltered, at least for now. Read the full report here.
That higher spending limit is likely to be good news for the FAA and other federal agencies that were hit hard by 2013 sequestration cuts. But exactly how much of that money will go to any given agency remains to be seen.