August 9, 2011
About 4,000 FAA workers and up to 70,000 construction workers were set to go back to work after the Senate Friday approved the House-passed short-term extension of FAA’s authorization. But when Congress returns the first week of September, lawmakers will have just 10 days to pass a new extension.
Already, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) is taking a hard line on negotiations on the underlying FAA reauthorization bill, with the House and Senate remaining at odds over a controversial labor provision, airport funding and the number of flights at Reagan National Airport. “If the Senate refuses to negotiate on the few remaining issues, they can be assured that every tool at our disposal will be utilized to ensure a long-term bill is signed into law,” Mica says.
The two-week FAA shutdown was estimated to cost the government $400 million in lost excise taxes and halted numerous construction projects. The National Air Transportation Association alerted members that they must resume collection of taxes no later than 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 8 and advised fixed-base operators – many of which prepaid fuel taxes – to visit the IRS website on updated information regarding the taxes.
National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed last week’s action, and reiterates that a multiyear bill is “the best way to provide the guidance needed for long-term initiatives.”
The extension had been held up over a dispute between House Republicans and Senate Democrats over Essential Air Service cuts and a labor issue. In the end, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, relented.
Source: AVAITION WEEK