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"House Approves FY 2008 DOT Funding Bill With $3.6 Billion For AIP"



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

House Approves FY 2008 DOT Funding Bill With $3.6 Billion For AIP
AAAE


The House Tuesday approved its version of the fiscal year 2008 spending bill
that funds DOT and FAA (H.R. 3074). Approved on a vote of 268 to 153, the
bill includes good news on a number of airport priorities, including $3.6
billion for the Airport Improvement Program, $850 million above the
President's request and $85 million more than was approved in FY 2007. While
it is always significant to gain funding above the level requested by the
President for any program, convincing lawmakers to add $850 million to the
request for AIP is especially noteworthy given the fact that there is no
authorization in place for the program for FY 2008 and given the expiration
of budget guarantees that have historically protected AIP funding, AAAE's
Airport Legislative Alliance (ALA) staff reported. 

During House debate, lawmakers approved several amendments of note,
including one offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) that would
require a nationwide study of airport noise mitigation problems and outline
best practices for noise mitigation at the top 10 airports. That amendment
was approved by voice vote. 

The House also approved on a 268 to 158 vote an amendment offered by Rep.
Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) aimed at prohibiting the FAA from undertaking any
effort to "eliminate, consolidate, de-consolidate, co-locate, or execute
inter-facility reorganization of FAA air traffic control facilities or
services." The amendment, which is aimed at preventing TRACON consolidation,
is similar to one approved by the House last year that was ultimately
dropped from the final version of the FY 2007 DOT spending bill. ALA staff
noted that approval of the Hastings amendment was notable given the fact
that it was overwhelmingly supported over the objections of the bipartisan
leadership of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the
aviation subcommittee, who argued that the House FAA reauthorization bill
offers a better approach to an outright prohibition with the inclusion of a
provision that would provide additional public and industry input into
future, proposed FAA facility consolidations. 

Also during House consideration, lawmakers rejected an amendment offered by
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) dealing with redesign of airspace in the
New York/New Jersey/ Philadelphia corridor, as well as several attempts to
reduce the overall funding level of the measure through across-the-board
cuts to all programs funded by the bill, including AIP.

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