House to hold hearing on airport funding

Getty Images

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is planning to hold a hearing about financing the development of new facilities at airports across the nation. 

The hearing, which is scheduled for June 18, will examine “airport financing and development,” officials with the panel’s Aviation subcommittee said. 

“The current FAA forecast calls for U.S. carrier passenger growth of an average of 2.2 percent per year over the next 20 years,” the committee said in a news release announcing the hearing. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“Given this projected increase in traffic, there may be greater demands on the capacity of the system’s physical infrastructure,” the statement continued. “Next week’s hearing will examine this capacity, and sources of revenue for airport operations and infrastructure.” 

Lawmakers have been focusing on a pressing deadline for renewing road and transit funding that is scheduled to expire this fall, but a deadline for reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration’s funding will be looming right behind it. 

The $63 billion FAA funding bill that was approved in 2012 is scheduled to expire in 2015. 

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) has said that lawmakers will have to move quickly to aviation funding after they find a solution to the surface transportation spending quandary.  

"To pass a new reauthorization that will keep us competitive, we have to begin laying the groundwork now," Shuster said in a December speech to International Aviation Club of Washington. 

"We shouldn’t settle for just another reauthorization of programs, or for making adjustments at the margins of the system,” Shuster continued. “We may have the world’s best aviation system for the moment, but that title comes with no guarantee. We have an obligation to improve our system any way we can, with bold, innovative ideas.”

FAA Deputy Associate Administrator for Airports Benito De Leon and U.S. Government Accountability Office Director of Civil Aviation Issues Gerald Dillingham are scheduled to testify. 

Representatives from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, American Association of Airport Executives, Airlines for America and Airports Council International, North America are also scheduled to testify.