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Bush Signs FAA Extension

A bill providing a three-month extension of Federal Aviation Administration programs and taxes was signed into law by President Bush on June 30.

The new law, HR-6327, means that the full allocation for FY 2008 Airport Improvement Program grants will be given out to airports; that includes the $758.3M that has been on hold. If Congress doesn’t pass a reauthorization bill over the summer, another extension will have to be signed in the fall.

Airports Council International – North America has been pushing Congress to complete the bill this year. Some of the key points the organization is stressing include:

–  Seeing the cap on Passenger Facility charges raised to $7
–  Seeing the AIP program fully funded.
–  Ensuring limo and taxi drivers pay fees for picking up passengers
–  Making sure airport proprietor rights are not negatively impacted in the way of congestion pricing.

According to the bill federal taxes dedicated to the FAA’s Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) will be extended through the end of the current fiscal year, Sept. 30, at current rates.  The law will also extend the FAA’s spending authority, “used to pay for most of the FAA’s functions including the FAA’s facilities and equipment program, the research, engineering and development (RE&D) program, and the operations and maintenance program.”