The U.S. Congress finished work on its FY2017 funding package last week, providing $16.4 billion for the FAA and rolling over language reiterating opposition to proposals to carve the air traffic organization out of the agency. The $1.1 trillion government-wide spending package was signed into law on May 5, following House passage on May 3 and Senate approval May 4.
The spending package, H.R.244, won praise from business and general aviation industry advocates for its focus on areas such as certification, alternative fuels research and NextGen. The package also earned praise because it rolled over report language included in a previous version of the spending bill that noted, “The attempt to remove the [ATC] system from the FAA is fraught with risk, could lead to uncontrollable cost increases to consumers and could ultimately harm users and operators in the system.”
“We appreciate the strong support shown by Congress in this omnibus measure for general aviation, especially in the critical areas of safety, certification, and the transition to an unleaded avgas—and in raising strong concerns about the attempt to remove the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
NBAA further highlighted language that provides the FAA with more flexibility in using its funding, something that NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said provides “the agency with more tools in its toolbox to help ensure that its programs have stable, predictable funding.”