H.R. XXXX: Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010

H.R. XXXX

Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010

Date
June 29, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. ____ on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  This legislation was introduced by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN).

Bill Summary

The bill extends certain authorities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approximately one month, from July 3, 2010, through August 4, 2010.  The bill would extend the FAA’s authority to spend money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), their authority to charge taxes, and their appropriated spending levels.  

The bill extends certain aviation-related taxes that are used to finance the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, including ticket taxes.  Specifically, the bill would extend the domestic passenger ticket tax at its current level of 7.5 percent of ticket price, the domestic flight segment tax at its current level of $3.40 per passenger, and the domestic cargo tax at 6.25 percent of the cost of transporting property.

The bill authorizes the appropriation of funds for the Airport Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2010, and extends its program grant authority through August, 2010.  Funding for the program would be calculated on an annualized basis as if the total amount for FY 2010 was $3.5 billion.  Additionally, the bill authorizes funding for operations, as well as the Air Navigation Facilities and Equipment.  Finally, the bill authorizes funding for FAA research, engineering, and development.

Background

In the 110th and 111th Congresses, the House passed several short-term FAA extensions which were signed into law.  The most recent extension, H.R. 5147 (P.L. 111-161), was passed in the House on April 30, 2010, by unanimous consent.

The FAA is an agency within the Department of Transportation that oversees and regulates the nation’s aviation system.  The Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), created by the Airport and Airway Revenue Act of 1970, provides funding for the nation’s aviation system through several aviation excise taxes.  Funding currently comes from collections related to passenger tickets, air cargo excise taxes, passenger flight segments, and aviation fuels, among other sources.  The current funding mechanisms for the FAA were set forth by the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, which became law in 2003.  Vision 100 expired at the end of FY 2007, and the FAA has since been funded by a series of temporary authorizations.  Both the House (H.R. 915) and the Senate (S. 1451) have introduced a long-term FAA extension.  H.R. 915 passed the House on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 277-136.  The Senate has yet to act on either S. 1451 or the House passed extension. 

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet produced a cost estimate for this bill as of press time.