The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has welcomed legislation to continue funding the FAA during a government shutdown
House committee on transportation and infrastructure chairman Peter DeFazio and aviation subcommittee chairman Rick Larsen introduced the bill, which enables the FAA to continue to be funded out of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
During this year’s partial government shutdown – the longest in the country’s history – money continued to be paid into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, but none could be used to fund the FAA or pay the agency’s employees.
The DeFazio legislation would allow, during times of government shutdowns, for money from the fund to pay for the agency’s continued operations.
The trust fund helps pay for FAA investments in the airport and airway system, such as construction and safety improvements at airports, technological upgrades to the air traffic control system, and FAA operations including providing air traffic control and conducting safety inspections.
During January’s partial government shutdown, NBAA joined more than 30 aviation industry groups and unions urging the federal government to end the shutdown, citing its harmful effects on the industry.
Thousands of FAA employees were furloughed, and the shutdown delayed certifications, training and placing new aircraft in service.
Ed Bolen, NBAA’s president and CEO, said, “Aviation is among the nation’s most regulated industries, requiring oversight and a host of services from the FAA.
“This bill would help ensure that aviation – a key component in the nation’s economy and transportation system – will avoid a potentially harmful disruption in the event of a government shutdown.”