Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rick Larson (D-WA) have introduced H.R. 1108, the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019. If passed into law will continue funding the FAA during a future government shutdown. Funds will come from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
“Aviation is among the nation’s most regulated industries, requiring oversight and a host of services from the FAA,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “This bill would help ensure that aviation – a key component in the nation’s economy and transportation system – will avoid a potentially harmful disruption in the event of a government shutdown.”
During this year’s partial government shutdown money continued to be paid into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, but none could be used to fund the FAA or pay the agency’s employees. The DeFazio legislation would allow, during times of government shutdowns, for money from the fund to pay for the agency’s continued operations.
“This is a common-sense piece of legislation that ensures that all of the critical components of our national airspace system remain fully operational, without interruptions, in a safe and secure manner, regardless of the political environment,” said Shelly Simi, NASAO President and CEO. “As demonstrated by the recent shutdown, aviation has a broad reaching effect in serving the needs of our citizens and communities across the nation and directly impacts the economy.”
The United States is home to the world’s largest, busiest, and most complex airspace system. Civil aviation alone has a $1.5 trillion impact on the economy, creating more than 11 million jobs, according to industry groups.
During last month’s partial government shutdown, more than 30 aviation industry groups and unions urged the federal government to end the shutdown, citing its harmful effects on the industry. Thousands of FAA employees were furloughed, and the shutdown delayed certifications, training, and placing new aircraft in service.