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Airport and Airways Trust Fund in Danger of Depletion Due to CARES Act

April 2, 2020 - The leaders of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Subcommittee on Aviation sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy concerning a provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that suspends the payment of excise/ticket taxes by airlines to the Airport and Airways Trust Fund (AATF) through the end of 2020.

This provision in the CARES Act will result in a very low balance in the AATF by the end of the year and would lead to an insufficient balance to fund 2021 FAA programs and airport improvements.

"We must act before the AATF's uncommitted or cash balance hits zero," the letter states. "A dwindling or negative uncommitted balance in the AATF will restrict the FAA's ability to enter into new obligations from the AATF, to which it is currently directed by current appropriations law. At a time when we can least afford it, this will also create a tremendous distraction to the professionals at the FAA with important, safety critical jobs, and undermine confidence in the stability of the air transportation system."

EAA joined a coalition of nearly 20 aviation industry groups in voicing their concern with the potential depletion of the AATF in a joint letter signed by the groups sent to both the House and Senate leadership. EAA will continue to monitor and respond to what could be a serious issue going forward.

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