Not long after the government shutdown ended, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) introduced the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019 (H.R.1108) that would protect Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and personnel from future government shutdowns without changing the structure of the agency.
The Aviation Funding and Stability Act, which would draw funds from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) to keep the FAA running in the event of a future government shutdown, cleared a hurdle when it passed unanimously out of the T&I Committee. It is now up to House leadership to consider the bill for a vote on the full House floor. A companion bill (S.762) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas). PASS stands behind both bills and is encouraged by the bipartisan support.
PASS worked directly with the Aviation Subcommittee to make sure that any legislation that alters the FAA’s funding stream would not introduce more risk to the system and would ensure all FAA employees are on the job and getting paid even if there were another shutdown. This is a consistent priority for PASS.
The Aviation Funding Stability Act authorizes the FAA to continue to draw from its AATF during a lapse in federal funding. The AATF would generate enough revenue from the passenger ticket tax, commercial fuel tax, general aviation gas tax, cargo tax and more to sustain the agency’s programs and protect the aviation system during a government shutdown.
While some in the industry turned toward privatization schemes in search of funding stability, PASS remained steadfast in its commitment to aviation safety and opposing anything run by a corporate board of directors outside of the federal government. “Now that privatization is off the table, we have a smart legislative solution that will allow all FAA employees to do their job without fear of when they will receive their next paycheck,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “PASS was an original supporter of the legislation because it is time for a solution.”