Frustration and disbelief have characterized the
reactions of most of us during the past two-and-a-half weeks. Many
reasons have been given for the stalemate, but none seem to justify the
furlough of thousands of FAA employees, the loss of over $300 million in
taxes, and delayed airport projects during the height of the
construction season. It is a shame that the compromise that was
ultimately reached wasn't accomplished two weeks sooner, when the
collateral damage caused by a work stoppage could have been
While all of this is heartfelt, I do realize that
there is no value in pointing fingers or spending more time deliberating
over the past. Perhaps on Sept. 6, when legislators return from their
summer break and once again consider the FAA reauthorization bill,
cooler heads will prevail and the democratic process that our country
prides itself upon will result in an agreement with no further adverse
effects to our nation's air transportation system.
Thanks to those of you who have recently contacted
your congressional delegation. During the past two weeks we have
assisted several ACC members by contacting decision makers to clearly
state a variety of unique airport client and project circumstances. ACC
collaborated with other aviation groups and sent letters to
congressional leaders, urging the passage of an extension and
emphasizing the dangers being posed to the aviation community at
In the meantime, the FAA and airports face a
tremendous challenge as a result of the furlough and the multitude of
short-term extensions that have been passed this year. FAA now has the
daunting task of obligating close to $2.0 billion in AIP grants over the
next few weeks. Late yesterday I spoke with FAA Deputy Associate
Administrator for Airports Kate Lang, who asked that the ACC members do
everything possible to assist airports to submit their entitlement carryover
their ADOs by this Friday, August 12! She
explained that this is hugely important because the current AIP
obligation rate is far behind the amount of grant funding normally
programmed by this time of year. Therefore, every effort must be made to
obligate the maximum amount of funding possible by September 16 when the
current extension expires, just in case another log jam occurs. If you
have questions or need assistance, contact ACC Headquarters.
We all need to remain vigilant and continue to work
towards securing a long-term FAA reauthorization bill by keeping
pressure on House and Senate members to fund airport development
projects with no further interruptions. This week, ACI-NA reached out to
their airport members and encouraged them to attend the town-hall
meetings that House members and senators will be hosting over the next
few weeks. I suggest you consider joining them and speak with your
elected officials about how the recent FAA shutdown and, more
importantly, the multiple short-term extension bills have impacted your
company and employees. If you would like a list of town hall meeting
dates and locations of select members, contact T.J. Schulz at email@example.com.
Please remember to assist your airport clients so they
can meet this Friday's deadline. As September 16 approaches, we will
continue to intercede on your behalf and may our collective level of
frustration and disbelief be kept to a minimum in the future!
If you have questions, feel free to contact ACC Executive Vice
President T.J. Schulz at TJS@ACConline.org.
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