A coalition of 40 stakeholders representing all segments of the aviation and travel industries sent a letter to congressional leaders in support of the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019 (H.R. 1108).
The legislation would provide FAA funding in the event of a government shutdown, enabling the agency to draw from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) in the event of a lapse.
"Jobs and economic growth in the industry were threatened as manufacturers, airlines and other operators, and small businesses faced disruption. The effect on the nation’s air transportation system and the workers charged with keeping the system safe was dramatic," the letter reads.
"We find this situation to be unacceptable and we want to work with Congress and the Administration to prevent this from ever happening again," the letter continues. "The legislation is designed to provide a limited, targeted way of ensuring stability for the aviation system and it does not change congressional direction or oversight in any way."
According to the coalition, the AATF currently has a balance of more than $6 billion.
In a letter to Department of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget leadership, an industry coalition asked the administration to request full funding of the new grant programs signed into law last year. Under the law, Congress can appropriate up to $5 million for each of two new grant programs designed to attract technicians and pilots.
Once implemented, grants may be used for scholarships, apprenticeships, establishing new training programs, purchasing equipment for schools and supporting career transition for members of the armed forces.
Members are urged to reach out to congressional leaders, especially if they have a seat on appropriations committees, in support of the funding the programs. Get information on your elected leaders and their committee assignments at www.govtrack.us/congress/members/map.
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.