Airlines spent $3.2 million on lobbying in months before FAA shutdown

The only airline to experience a significant difference between the quarters was United, which spent $1.2 million in the first quarter and $680,000 in the second and was in the middle of a merger with Continental that needed to be approved by regulators.

The other big spender was American Airlines parent group, AMR Corp., which spent a little more than $1 million in the first quarter of the year on lobbying, and $1.5 million in the second.

The Washington-based lobbying firm for airlines, Air Transport Association, spent $850,000 in the second quarter and $960,000 in the first quarter.

The FAA was partially shut down for nearly two weeks in July and the beginning of August when an impasse in Congress caused the agencys funding to run out on July 22. The shutdown was projected to have cost the federal government $30 million per day because sales taxes on airline tickets were unable to be collected.

About 4,000 FAA workers were furloughed for 13 days, and an estimated 70,000 construction workers were put out of work because more than 200 airport projects were stalled.