Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) passed by unanimous consent House Resolution (H.R.) 1108, the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019. H.R. 1108 would authorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to draw from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) ensuring that all
programs, projects, or activities continue uninterrupted so the FAA can carry out its mission in the event of a future government shutdown.
During the recent 35-day government shutdown, users of the system continued to pay taxes and fees into the AATF. The Trust Fund has an uncommitted balance of more than $6 billion, but the FAA could not access that money to support air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals who continued to work without pay or those who were furloughed and whose functions were not performed during the shutdown.
NATCA worked closely with T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (Ore.) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (Wash.) on this bill, as well as Congressman Bob Gibbs (Ohio) to help gather support. We thank them for developing a targeted way of maintaining stability for the aviation system.
Our Union also thanks our legislative activists who are working tirelessly to gain wide, bipartisan support for the bill. There are 138 cosponsors, including 101 Democrats and 37 Republicans. Our success in encouraging the many cosponsors should be credited to our members' strong relationships with their members of Congress and their staffs, along with the compelling arguments we have made about how the shutdown negatively affected aviation safety, as well as how those effects will continue to plague the system. We must not allow that to happen again.
Today's passage by the T&I Committee is only the first step in a long legislative process. NATCA will continue to ask for your assistance in educating and advocating to your member of Congress to support the bill until it is enacted into law.