FAA modernization returns to Senate floor

The Senate will return to FAA legislation Tuesday afternoon. As the bill is currently written, it provides approximately $276 million in additional funds to modernize the U.S. air-traffic system by upping taxes on several areas within the airline industry.

This bill sets the general aviation jet fuel tax at a rate of 36¢ per gallon, increasing it from the current rate of 21.9¢/gallon, and is estimated to raise approximately $113 million through 2014.

It also slaps fractional jets with an increase on gas taxes, from 4.4 cents per gallon to 36 cents, as well as a 14-cent surtax on fuel, according to documents released by the Senate.  The provision is expected to raise $107 million through 2014.

The bill also includes aircraft weighing 6,000 pounds to pay into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. These planes were originally exempt from the taxes that were funneled into this fund. Now, only sightseeing planes are exempt.  The provision is expected to raise $56 million over ten years.