Despite progress in Congress on a multiyear aviation measure, it looks like another extension—the 12th since 2007—is on its way for Federal Aviation Administration programs, including airport construction grants. The Senate on March 22 approved a two-year, $35-billion FAA authorization by a 93-0 vote. Todd Hauptli, American Association of Airport Executives’ senior executive vice president, says, “Passage of the Senate bill is an important step in the legislative process [and] overdue.” The aviation bill next must be reconciled with a three-year, $53.5-billion measure the House passed last May.
There’s no dispute about the funding for FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) infrastructure grants. The Senate and House measures each provide $4 billion in 2010 and $4.1 billion in 2011 for AIP.