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Barclay calls on Congress to pass FAA bill in lame-duck session
November 24, 2010
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  • Aviation News Staff

    AAAE President Charles Barclay Tuesday urged lawmakers to pass in the lame-duck session a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill that raises the cap on PFCs and includes other airport priorities.

    “I realize that there are a number of legislative matters for lawmakers to consider in the weeks ahead,” Barclay said in a letter to key lawmakers. “However, it is critical that Congress redouble its efforts to pass a multi-year FAA bill before it adjourns for the year.”

    Progress on the long-delayed FAA bill stalled this summer when lawmakers reached an impasse over a contentious proposal to add slots at Reagan Washington National Airport. House and Senate lawmakers also were unable to resolve their differences over proposals to raise the PFC cap.

    Senate lawmakers resisted a House-passed proposal to raise the cap from $4.50 to $7. Senate leaders countered with their own proposal to raise the cap to $5.50. Meanwhile, Sen. Jim DeMint (D-S.C.), the top Republican on the Senate aviation subcommittee, has expressed his strong opposition to any PFC increase.

    House and Senate lawmakers did agree to jettison a proposal that could force airports to comply with excessive aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) standards. The compromise bill that House and Senate lawmakers crafted this summer did not include onerous ARFF language approved by the House. AAAE has been arguing that a proposal would dramatically increase airport costs and could jeopardize service to small communities without improving aviation safety.

    If Congress is unable to pass a multi-year FAA bill in the lame-duck session, lawmakers will start the entire process all over again next year, AAAE Airport Legislative Alliance staff report. With Republicans taking back the House, the next FAA reauthorization bill introduced in that chamber will look very different than the multi-year bill that the House passed this year, staff said.

    Date: 2010-11-17