No. 21: Another FAA Funding Extension Looms
July 21, 2011 – With the current funding extension set to expire at the end of the week, a record 21st FAA funding extension was introduced in the House last week by Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-Florida), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin), and Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan). It has been more than 7-1/2 years since the last FAA reauthorization was signed into law.
The extension, H.R. 2553, maintains current FAA funding levels through September 16, 2011. It also includes an Essential Air Service (EAS) reform provision that would limit EAS eligibility to communities located 90 or more miles from a large or medium hub airport, with a waiver included allowing the Secretary of Transportation discretion if geographic characteristics result in undue difficulty accessing the nearest medium or large hub. This move, approved by the Senate earlier this year, would eliminate 10 EAS communities located within 90 miles of a medium or large hub airport, resulting in $12.5 million in annual savings.