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Conferees Complete Work On FAA Reauthorization Bill

Posted Date: 
February 1, 2012

A final agreement has been reached between the House and Senate for the Airport bill.  The most important part for Montana is that the Essential Air Subsidy will not be phased out, as was being considered.

House and Senate conferees met Jan. 31 to consider the final version of the FAA reauthorization bill. Conferees are expected to sign the report, and the House is expected to pass the long-delayed bill later this week.

The bill would keep the federal cap on local PFCs at $4.50 and provide $3.35 billion annually for AIP through fiscal year 2015.

Although AAAE and airports across the country had pressed lawmakers to raise or eliminate the federal cap on local PFCs, the final bill would keep the cap at $4.50. The bill also would provide $3.35 billion for AIP per year – the same reduced amount that Congress approved in the fiscal year 2012 appropriations process but $350 million more per year than the House recommended.

One of the most contentious disagreements between House and Senate lawmakers dealt with the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. The House had proposed to phase out the program except for communities in Hawaii and Alaska. The final bill calls for some modest reforms and would continue to fund the program at approximately $190 million per year.