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"Aviation Security Bill--Heading into the Weekend of Hill Negotiations"



Friday, September 28, 2001

Aviation Security Bill--Heading into the Weekend of Hill Negotiations
Three questions for your immediate consideration:
AAAE/ACI-NA


      Q.  After the terrorist attacks on September 11, the FAA immediately
required airports to deploy more law enforcement officials and take other
steps to improve aviation security.  We estimate that the new security
requirements will cost airports approximately $1 billion per year.  Do you
think Congress should provide airports with the revenue they need to pay for
these new security mandates?

      Q.  While insurance companies raised the price of war risk insurance
for airlines, they are canceling it for airports. Congress fixed the
airlines' problems with the rising cost and liability issues associated with
war risk insurance in the airline relief bill.  Do you think Congress should
help airports retain their war risk insurance?

      Q.  Last week, Standard & Poor's placed all of its North American
airports on its "CreditWatch."  According to Standard & Poor's, "Many
airport ratings will be clearly more susceptible to the likely revenue and
cost effects associated with large declines in passenger levels, significant
restructuring in a weakening airline industry that may be particularly
important to airports with high concentration in one airline, and increased
security and capital requirements overall." Do you think Congress should
help stabilize airport bonds?

If you answered yes to any or all of the questions listed above, WE NEED
YOUR HELP NOW!

In the past several days, the AAAE/ACI-NA Legislative Affairs Department has
met with Members and staff from numerous Hill offices to discuss these and
other proposals.  As it stands now, the Senate version of the aviation
security bill may include a provision that will allow airports to use PFCs
and AIP funds to pay for law enforcement officials.  The House committee
staff is less committal at this point.

Unless we act soon, the aviation security bill will not include provisions
that will allow airports to be reimbursed for law enforcement officials,
help airports retain war risk insurance, or stabilize airport bonds.  Staff
members from numerous Hill offices have told us that their airports have not
yet contacted them about these issues.  In addition, some lawmakers may be
confused about the $40 billion emergency spending bill and the airline
relief bill, which Congress recently passed.  Neither bill will cover the
security costs for airports.  (These funds are targeted for cockpits, sky
marshals, etc.)

We thank those who have already contacted their Hill offices and ask that
you call again.  We strongly encourage those of you have not yet weighed-in,
to contact your delegation as soon as possible.  We can't stress enough how
important it is for all of you to contact these offices.  The Senate is
expected to consider the aviation security bill early next week, and the
House by mid-to-late next week.

When you contact your Senate offices, we recommend that you make the
following points:

    I am calling to thank you for supporting our airport in the past and to
ask for you help again as the Senate prepares to consider an aviation
security bill next week.

    After the terrorist attacks on September 11, the FAA immediately
required airports to deploy more law enforcement officials and take other
steps to improve aviation security.  Please do everything you can to ensure
that airports have the money and the flexibility they need to pay for these
new security mandates.

    The aviation security bill may give airports the flexibility to use
Passenger Facility Charges and Airport Improvement Program funds to pay for
law enforcement officials.  This is a welcome step in the right direction,
but airports need other sources of revenue to offset increased security
costs.

    While insurance companies raised the price of war risk insurance for
airlines, they are expected to canceling it for airports.  Congress fixed
the airlines' war risk insurance problems in the airline relief bill.
Please ensure that the aviation security bill includes similar protections
for airports.

    The decline in passengers is also having an adverse impact on
airport-related bonds.  Standard & Poor's recently placed all of its North
American airports on its "CreditWatch."  I hope Congress will take the
necessary to steps to help stabilize airport-related bonds.

When communicating with your delegations, please urge them to immediately
contact the House and Senate leadership in support of more funding and
flexibility for airports in the aviation security bill.

Thanks again for your help with these issues.  We're facing an uphill
battle, so your calls are critical.

   Post your comments in the CAA Legislative Forum
http://www.californiaaviation.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?conf=DCConfID5

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