FAA Appropriations Cleared; Biden Budget Unveiled

LN 24-02  |  March 14, 2024

  • Congress Clears FY 2024 Appropriations for FAA; DHS/TSA Pending
  • Third FAA Authorization Extension Passed with May 10 Deadline
  • Biden Releases FY 2025 Budget Proposal

It’s been a busy two weeks in Washington as Congress works to clear the decks of the FY 2024 annual spending bills and find a direction on the pending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. In the meantime, the FY 2025 budget process is underway with the Biden Administration releasing its budget proposal last week.

FY 2024 Mini-bus Appropriations Bill Summary

Congress has taken a unique approach to the FY 2024 appropriations bills this year, essentially segmenting two sets of spending bills for federal agencies, each running under different extension deadlines. A huge hurdle was cleared last week when Congress passed six of the 12 annual spending bills, including the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and FAA, in one “mini-bus” package. Under the bill, FAA receives a total of $24 billion in FY 2024. The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) is funded at the $3.35 billion authorized level and includes $532 million in additional funding for discretionary and earmarked projects. This is above the $4 billion to be provided under the Infrastructure Investment and Job Act (IIJA) bill for airports under the Airport Infrastructure Grant and Airport Terminal Program in FY 2024.

 

FY 2023 Enacted

FY 2023 Omnibus

Operations

$11.9b

$12.7b

F&E

$2.9b

$3.2b

Research

$255m

$280m

AIP Total

$3.9b

$3.9b

AIP authorized

$3.35b

$3.35b

AIP supp. discr.

$272m

$50m

Earmarks

$283m

$482m

IIJA – Infra Bill Airports

$4b

$4b

AIG

$3b

$3b

ATP

$1b

$1b

The bill also includes $40 million for Technology Research, $15 million for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), and $10 million for the Small Community Air Service Program.

Congress still has to address the remaining six FY 2024 appropriations bills. The agencies in this package, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA), are currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on March 22, 2024.

Congress Passes Another FAA Authorization Extension

With a long-term FAA reauthorization still pending, Congress last week passed another extension of FAA’s funding and program authority through May 10, 2024. This is the third extension to be passed since the FAA authorization expired on October 1 of last year. The Senate Commerce Committee cleared its FAA reauthorization measure on February 8, 2024, and the plan is for the House and Senate staff to work out differences between the two respective measures and possibly bring a final bill to the Senate floor. The ACC Advocacy Committee will reach out to the House and Senate committees on key priorities to include in the final bill.

Biden Administration Unveils FY 2025 Budget Blueprint

The Biden Administration released its FY 2025 budget proposal late last week. Highlights of the Biden budget proposal include:

  • $26 billion for FAA, including IIJA funding
    • $13.6 billion for Operations, with an intent to train 2,000 more air traffic controllers
    • $4.6 billion for Facilities and Equipment
    • $3.35 billion for AIP
    • Proposes a new $8 billion, five-year capital program, “Facility Replacement and Radar Modernization,” to be drawn on the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, of which $1 billion is to be provided in fiscal 2025
    • “Reforms” taxes for business aviation by “enhance(ing) excise taxes for business aviation activities so that revenues related to business aviation are aligned to their use of the aviation system
  • $11 billion for TSA, including setting aside $1.5 billion to carry forward pay equity for TSA officers and staff to be commensurate with other federal agencies.
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