The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan, five-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization today by a vote of 393 to 13. H.R. 4 includes an additional $5.3 billion in Airport Improvement Program funding to bring spending on airport runways, taxiways, aprons and roads to $25.4 billion through fiscal year 2023. Next, the Senate must bring its own bill to the floor so the chambers can complete a conference prior to the September 30 deadline.
The bill was able to move to the House floor due to the removal of the controversial privatization of the Air Traffic Control (ATC). While bills are normally numbered in the order in which they are introduced, the first ten bill numbers in a Congress are generally reserved by the Speaker of the House for top priorities of the majority party. The bill includes modernization of the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) designed to assist medium and large hub air airports. It also expands a pilot program for PFCs to all primary and non-hub airports.
Joining with the Beyond the Runway Coalition, Highway Materials Group and Transportation Construction Coalition, NSSGA supported removing the cap on the PFC cap so airports can collect the monies needed for specific projects. However, the amendment did not make it into the final bill. As the FAA bill makes its way through the Senate, NSSGA will continue to advocate for increased AIP funds and more flexibility on the PFC.