Rockefeller Disappointed By House Failure on FAA Extension

July 22, 2011

Chairman Rockefeller touts consumer provisions in FAA Reauthorization bill.WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement after Republicans failed to agree on a clean extension of funding for the FAA to stay in operation: 

“The refusal by the House to extend FAA’s funding authorities is a disservice to the American public and the aviation industry.  I am disappointed and stunned by their failure.  We had negotiated in good faith for four months, but when senior members of the House leadership admitted that they would try to gain political ‘leverage’ over the Senate, they effectively turned the aviation system into a political prop.  I am concerned about the economic impact of this at airports in all 50 states and worried about the ripple effects of furloughing 4,000 workers, ending research on Next Gen and killing jobs by delaying construction projects at hundreds of airports.  I care about those workers and their families.  The House did a disservice this week, and I am hopeful that they will realize the error of their ways and return to the table so we can work out a compromise that restores funding to the FAA.  Otherwise, we are headed for very serious problems.”

Today’s failure to extend the FAA will result in the following beginning midnight tonight:

  • The FAA Would Have to Furlough 4,000 Workers – Without Pay. “The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says failure to extend its funding could lead to the furlough of 4,000 workers, beginning Saturday.” [UPI, 7/21/11]

  • The Trust Fund Would Lose $200 million Per Week. According to the Aerospace Industries Association, failure to extend FAA’s authorization would have dire operational and economic consequences, including a loss in revenue to the Trust Fund of “approximately $200 million per week.” [AIA, 7/19/11]

  • Over $2 Billion in Airport Construction Projects Would be Jeopardy. “Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the government will lose about $200 million a week in airline ticket taxes and that $2.5 billion in airport construction projects will come to a halt if the Federal Aviation Administration is forced to shut down.” [AP, 7/21/11]

  • Billions in Economic Development Would be Jeopardized. According to the Aerospace Industries Association, failure to extend FAA’s authorization would cause “delays in implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System, which a recent Deloitte report says will generate $29 billion per year in U.S. economic benefits and eliminate 29 million metric tons of carbon emissions when the system is fully implemented.” [AIA, 7/19/11]