Tue, Feb 15, 2011
ACI-NA: AIP Program Underfunded In White House Budget
In response to the Administration's Fiscal Year 2012 budget
release, Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA)
expressed serious concern about the recommendation to reduce
funding for job-creating programs that improve the nation's airport
security and capacity infrastructure.
The President's proposed budget number for Federal Airport
Improvement Program (AIP) grants is $2.4 billion, $1.1 billion
below current funding levels. The reduction is reached by
eliminating guaranteed funding for large and medium hub
airports. The proposal also states, "…the Budget would
allow larger airports to increase non-Federal passenger facility
charges, thereby giving larger airports greater flexibility to
generate their own revenues."
"Airports' top priority is to operate safe, secure and efficient
facilities," said ACI-NA President Greg Principato. "By gutting the
AIP, the Administration's budget proposal fails to provide the
resources necessary to provide safe and secure facilities that
reduce passenger delays and inconvenience."
ACI-NA President Greg Principato
AIP grants are one of four primary
sources of infrastructure funding. The other three sources include
passenger facility charge (PFC) user fees, airport bonds and
"While I am pleased that the Obama Administration has recommended
that airports utilize local financing to create local jobs by
funding local infrastructure projects,"said Principato, "this
budget proposal to raise the PFC user fee is two years too late.
Most especially because we know that Congress will not include this
provision in the FAA bill despite the fact that it would allow
local communities to create local jobs building local projects with
local resources. So, we may get the AIP cut without the additional
local freedom of the PFC user fee."
"If enacted, the President's proposal would certainly reduce the
number of jobs created by airports for local projects," said
Principato. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation
estimates, for every $1 billion in infrastructure investment
approximately 34,779 jobs are supported.
Principato had a similar statement
following a the introduction of the FAA reauthorization bill in the
U.S. House of Representatives last week
"Airports are disappointed that the authorized funding level for
the job-creating Airport Improvement Program (AIP) falls short of
the amount necessary to ensure passenger safety, security and
airfield maintenance," he said. "Also, that the Committee
chose to continue to limit the ability of local communities to
finance local projects with local money. Without adequate
investment in ground infrastructure, there can be no NextGen."
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