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"Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Additional Funding for Airports"

Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Additional Funding for Airports

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the FY 2002 Department
of Defense Appropriations bill.  During consideration of that measure
today, the Committee approved an amendment offered by Committee Chairman
Robert Byrd (D-WV) that adds $15 billion in emergency spending to the
bill.  This includes $7.5 billion for domestic security and $7.5 billion
for New York recovery efforts. 

The Byrd package includes $238 million for aviation security; $200
million of that amount would be used to reimburse airports for their
increased security costs such as paying for additional law enforcement
officials.  The amendment also includes an additional $57 million for
the Essential Air Service program, bringing the total for the EAS
program to $120 million in FY02.

The bill also includes $50 million for research and development of
emerging technologies that enhance domestic and international aviation
safety and security.  According to the report accompanying the bill:
"Since the attacks of September 11th, the FAA has been pursuing several
new technologies but has had little opportunity or financing to deploy
these technologies in the field for testing.  The funding provided will
address this shortfall in order to speed the deployment of the most
promising of these technologies."

As we have previously reported, the aviation security bill that the
President recently signed into law authorizes but does not appropriate
funds to reimburse airports for their increased security costs.  Since
we have been urging Congress to appropriate at least some funding to
reimburse airports as part of the DOD spending bill, today's
developments are good news.  

Although the Committee passed the amendment today by a voice vote,
expect a contentious floor debate on the increases in spending for
homeland security.  Stay tuned!

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