"Rebuilding America-The Time is Now!"
By Thomas J. Donohue
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 10, 2007
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been operating under a series of extensions since its authorizing legislation expired in September 2007. A full reauthorization is needed to transform our aviation system to meet the projected growth in passengers and freight.
Reauthorization should expedite air traffic control modernization by providing adequate investment and laying out a clear technology road map including timing, investment, and funding requirements. It should also include concrete plans for cost reduction and increased efficiency at the FAA, provide research and technology funding targeted to projects that increase national aviation system capacity and safety, and provide a national air transportation system that ensures continued air service — a key economic development tools to communities nationwide.
To help address these needs, Congress should increase investment in aviation infrastructure by increasing the General Fund contribution and supporting initiatives for targeted airport and airway programs that foster innovative finance and project delivery approaches, such as public-private partnerships where feasible.
Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act is a four-year, $62.1 billion investment in nation's aviation system and programs. The law was set to expire on September 30, 2007, but Congress extended the taxes and fees associated with funding Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) operations and oversight.
U.S. Chamber Position
The Chamber supports designing and building an airport and air traffic management system with the capacity to safely and efficiently handle much greater volumes of traffic. We will continue to work with Congress and the administration to ensure the reauthorization of FAA in order to avoid further disruption to essential aviation services and programs. This bill should recognize the link between our nation's aviation network and jobs, economic development, global competitiveness, quality of life, and national security and prepare the nation's aviation network for the massive technological enhancements required in the FAA's NextGen initiative.