Airports to pressure lawmakers over FAA at town-hall events

The trade association representing airports is using August town halls pressure lawmakers to support Federal Aviation Administration funding.

After the FAA was partially shutdown for two weeks, resulting in thousands of workers being furloughedAirports Council International-North America President Greg Principato said Wednesday it's time to keep the pressure on Congress to pass a long-term FAA bill.

"It is hard to believe Congress would shut down the FAA at all, let alone right in the middle of the construction season for airports in the northern tier of the country," Principato said in a video released online.

"That is why it is so important for airports and our World Business Partners and Associates to keep up the great work of educating our legislators, both at the national and local level, about the important role airports play in our national aviation system and in taking care of passengers," Principato said.

"ACI-NA is going to send our members information about the town hall meetings that Members of Congress are holding during the August recess and encourage them to attend and ask the hard questions about airport funding and the FAA bill," he concluded.

The shutdown of the FAA was projected to cost the federal government $30 million a day because airlines were not required to collected taxes on ticket sales during the span.

The deal to end the shutdown covers the FAA through Sept. 16, so lawmakers will likely be right back at the negotiating table on the agency's funding when they return from their August recess.

The FAA has not had a long-term funding bill since the last measure, which passed in 2004, expired in 2007. The current bill that was approved last week is the 21st short-term funding measure the agency has had.

Principato said it was "the strong, united voice of airports around the country made all the difference in pushing Congress to resolve the standoff" earlier this month. 

The video is below: