The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to scale up the FAA’s budget to nearly $17 billion next year in a comprehensive funding bill that also clearly outlines the committee’s objections to proposals to create an independent air traffic control organization. On Thursday, the committee approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies bill, calling for a $16.97 billion budget for the FAA.
This funding would mark more than a $500 million increase over this year’s levels and an $800 million boost over the White House request. The bill also would provide $300 million more than the House version.
Notably, the bill would outright ban the use of funding to “to plan, design, or implement the privatization of the air traffic organization functions.” In report language accompanying the bill, the committee rejected the proposal to create an independent ATC organization. “The rigorous and yearly oversight of the budget and programs of the FAA is necessary to ensure the transparency and integrity of the public’s investment in the air traffic control system,” the appropriators said. “The proposed shift does not serve the public interest and would only create a new bureaucracy that is unaccountable to the public and the communities surrounding our network of airports.”
by AINalerts Ju;y 31, 2017