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FAA Shutdown Looming Over Extension Impasse?  
User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1395 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3860 times:

On 7/15, the House has passed another extension to the FAA per the press release below...

http://transportation.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1353

Quote:
This 21st extension, H.R. 2553, maintains current funding levels for the FAA, its employees, and airports across the country through September 16, 2011. The extension also includes a common sense Essential Air Service (EAS) reform provision, which the Senate passed unanimously during Floor consideration earlier this year. This provision, which was section 420 in the Senate’s FAA bill, would limit EAS eligibility to communities that are located 90 or more miles from a large or medium hub airport. It also includes a waiver should the Secretary of Transportation determine that geographic characteristics result in undue difficulty accessing the nearest medium or large hub. This modest reform, already approved by the Senate this year, would eliminate 10 EAS communities located within 90 miles of a medium or large hub airport, resulting in $12.5 million in annual savings.

Putting 13 airports in the current EAS program in play, however, was not warmly received by Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV), Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman, who sent off this blistering response to Rep. Mica...

http://commerce.senate.gov/public/?a...18f71b-37ec-414a-be75-df727e6b4229 [pdf]

Quote:
Over the last twenty-four hours, it is my understanding that you have asserted to others that you had no role in developing this extension, claiming that it was a leadership decision. If this is true, I am unclear as to why you sponsored it, and issued such a searing press release along with it. If you truly have no authority to make final decisions on the FAA bill, I urge the House to formally appoint conferees and allow me to negotiate directly with your colleagues who can make decisions...Further efforts to add policy components to FAA extensions that have not been negotiated with the Senate will likely shut the FAA down. You need to think about this very, very carefully. Any consequences resulting from such an action will fall squarely on your shoulders. Right now you are in control of the agency's immediate future.

Failure to pass this legislation by Friday is widely assumed to result in a shutdown of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, including monies payable to FAA employees or, for that matter, monies collected by way of facilities or segment taxes, for example, the fund the Trust.

Whether ATC would suffer any impacts is unclear, but likely they could be provided for with other emergency funds in the event of a shutdown.

Regardless, this seems to be a situation to watch within the aviation community as this test of wills will lead to either (1) a clean extension and no interruption of FAA services or (2) failed legislation and a defunding of the FAA's funding trust.

[Edited 2011-07-20 10:58:44]


I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4124 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3823 times:

Point of clarification. Rockefeller is from WV, not NY. Presumably, airports such as CKB and LWB would be affected by this, which is probably what is driving him on this.

User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2196 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3684 times:

Quoting Mikey711MN (Thread starter):
Whether ATC would suffer any impacts is unclear, but likely they could be provided for with other emergency funds in the event of a shutdown.

ATC is a defence critical operation. It (at least the ARTCCs) will never be shut down.

FAA contract towers?

Lockheed FSS?



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3626 times:

Political bolstering and rambling at its best. The airlines are paying some of these guys too much money to allow something like this to happen. Expect an agreement to be made at the "last hour".

As to EAS, it's about time. Word was out for a while that there was growing pressure to take a serious look at the program. Airlines would be glad to continue to fly the routes but for more money of course. Something they didn't seem willing to do because "someone would do it for the same or less". Well, here we are. It's either you can support the service or not.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinenycfly75 From Italy, joined Aug 2005, 750 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3609 times:

Um, This Legislation has nothing to do with ATC Funding. In fact ATC is deemed an essential NATIONAL SECURITY function of the government and could never be shut down because of FAA funding issues. If you recall, even during government funding shut downs, ATC still functions normally. The summary of the legislation provisions are below:

Fair Use:

"7/15/2011--Introduced.Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part IV - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through September 16, 2011, increased excise taxes on aviation fuels, the excise tax on air transportation of persons and property, and the expenditure authority for the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. Increases the authorization of appropriations for the period beginning on October 1, 2010, and ending on September 16, 2011, for airport planning and development and noise compatibility planning projects (known as airport improvement projects [AIPs]). Extends through September 16, 2011, the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to make new AIP grants. Extends until September 17, 2011:
(1) the pilot program for passenger facility fee authorizations at non-hub airports, and
(2) disclosure requirements for large and medium hub airports applying for AIP grants. Directs the Secretary to extend through September 16, 2011, the termination date of insurance coverage for domestic or foreign-flag aircraft. Grants the Secretary discretionary authority to further extend such coverage through December 31, 2011. Extends through December 31, 2011, the authority of the Secretary to limit air carrier liability for claims arising out of acts of terrorism. Extends through September 16, 2011:
(1) grant eligibility for airports located in the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau;
(2) grants to state and local governments for land use compatibility AIPs; and
(3) authority for approving an application of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for an airport development grant or for permission to impose a passenger facility fee. Amends the Vision 100 - Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act to extend through September 16, 2011:
(1) the temporary increase to 95% of the federal government's share of certain AIP costs, and
(2) funding for airport development at Midway Island Airport. Revises essential air service (EAS) program eligibility requirements to limit such service to airports (except those in Alaska) that:
(1) are located at least 90 miles from the nearest medium or large hub airport, and
(2) had an average subisdy per passenger of less than $1,000. Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to waive such requirements for a particular location if its geographic characteristics result in undue difficulty in accessing the nearest medium or large hub airport."

Source: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h2553/show

[Edited 2011-07-20 12:58:48]

User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1395 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

Well, for what it's worth, the House bill passed and is on to the Senate. Your move, Senator.

nycfly75, that is likely true, but shutting down the FAA would eliminate several other roles of the agency that aren't covered under such funding.

What is at issue, however, is the fate of 13 EAS markets, which the House has elected to remove, i.e. anything outside of a 90 mile perimeter of a hub.



I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
User currently offlinenycfly75 From Italy, joined Aug 2005, 750 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3443 times:

Mike,

Here's the definitive answer: ATC controllers arent paid from the fun thats at issue and are deemed essential federal employees, therefore they continue to work as normal:

"It would keep the FAA operating beyond Friday until Sept. 16, averting the need to furlough about 4,000 workers. Air traffic controllers, who make up about three-fourths of the agency’s workforce, would be exempt because they are considered essential employees."




http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...f-aviation-authority-correct-.html
http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=12924


User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1292 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3398 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Typical bogosuty from the US Legislative branch.

The hype that the FAA shutdown would be critical is bogus - because as is mentioned, the majority of the FAA is not funded this way.

The modest reform of EAS is meaningless - $12.5M in annual savings in a government that is spending at a rate of about $10B per day (2011 projection). (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals)
12.5M/year is $34K/day or .00034% of the daily spend.
In perspective - if you make 100K/year - this is a salary cut of 34 cents per year.

Why is this even being discussed?



rcair1
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2196 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3387 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 7):
Why is this even being discussed?

Because it's wasteful. Would you take 34 cents out of your paocket everyday and throw it in the gutter? It's only 34 cents.

It's taxpayer money propping up unprofitable business.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1395 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 7):
Why is this even being discussed?

Well, FWIW, I posted this because I thought that the specter of the oversight agency of the largest domestic aviation market in the world was somewhat newsworthy.   That said, what precisely would the potential layoff of 4,000 or so FAA employees since we've concluded that ATC is otherwise separately funded?

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 8):
It's taxpayer money propping up unprofitable business.

With the added irony that several rural communities tend to be very politically conservative and, generally speaking, have elected their representation to shut down a program that otherwise benefits them.

-Mike



I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8094 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 2):
ATC is a defence critical operation. It (at least the ARTCCs) will never be shut down.

But they won't get paid, either. Controllers will be forced to effectively work for free.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlinenycfly75 From Italy, joined Aug 2005, 750 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 10):
But they won't get paid, either. Controllers will be forced to effectively work for free.

I believe that's not the case, they will be paid. Only staff/projects directly related to the Airway Trust Fund (which is funded through Airline ticket taxes) will be cut off.

"What happens if the FAA shuts down?

Aides from both sides tell NBC News that air-traffic controllers and safety inspectors will not be subject to the shutdown, and planes will fly and safety procedures will carry on -- because controllers and safety inspectors are considered essential employees.

The Transportation Department says:
-- 4,000 of the FAA's 32,000 workers will be furloughed on Saturday and that that number could rise.

-- airlines would no longer collect ticket taxes, which are used for a trust fund to pay some FAA employees. (Staff funded by the trust fund are being furloughed)

-- some new construction projects at airports around the country will have to be put on hold.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news...d-cause-faa-to-partially-shut-down

"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned that some 4,000 FAA employees, including those who oversee safety and engineering standards, airport funding, and research and development programs, would be furloughed Saturday. Air-traffic controllers would continue to work because they are deemed "essential" employees and thus protected from furloughs. Also, federal payments for airport construction projects would eventually be halted if the agency lacks authority for long."

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industrie...ould-shut-parts-faa/#ixzz1SguTvArx

[Edited 2011-07-20 16:35:36]

[Edited 2011-07-20 16:44:57]

User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 2802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3115 times:

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 7):
The modest reform of EAS is meaningless - $12.5M in annual savings in a government that is spending at a rate of about $10B per day (2011 projection).

It's still $12.5 million we do not need to be spending.


Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 5):
which the House has elected to remove, i.e. anything outside of a 90 mile perimeter of a hub.

Just to clarify, it is anything INSIDE a 90 mile perimeter of a hub. That seems reasonable to me. Why should the taxpayer be subsidizing this kind of waste http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/19/nation/na-air19 or this kind of waste http://www.ajc.com/business/atlanta-macon-flights-draw-569950.html when you're less than 90 miles from a hub airport?


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8094 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 10):
I believe that's not the case, they will be paid.

I don't think so. They're guaranteed pay once the money is there again (they're not working for free forever) but the paychecks stop for the interim. I believe paid leave would be curtailed as well, so effectively everyone has to come in regardless.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 2802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3082 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 13):
They're guaranteed pay once the money is there again (they're not working for free forever) but the paychecks stop for the interim. I believe paid leave would be curtailed as well, so effectively everyone has to come in regardless.

Their salaries were funded as part of a stopgap funding bill that was passed earlier in the year and that expires on September 30th.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8094 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

Quoting catiii (Reply 14):
Their salaries were funded as part of a stopgap funding bill that was passed earlier in the year and that expires on September 30th.

Ah, thanks for that info. Theoretically, Sept 30th would just be the new date for the "working for free" scenario, then. I don't think it'll come to pass either way- we aren't going to let the gov't grind to a halt for long. In fact, if it happens at all, we should fire everyone in Washington. Bi-partisan effort reaching across the aisle blah blah blah... meanwhile they're all getting paid regardless.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlinenycfly75 From Italy, joined Aug 2005, 750 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3021 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 13):

I don't think so. They're guaranteed pay once the money is there again (they're not working for free forever) but the paychecks stop for the interim. I believe paid leave would be curtailed as well, so effectively everyone has to come in regardless.

Sorry, I disagree. Their salaries were part of the overall govt funding bill passed in April when there were threats that the govt would shut down. (See catii's response below). If the govt had shut down in April, that would have been the time they would have worked without pay until the govt reopened. This time. whats being defunded is anything/anyone that the FAA pays with funds that the airlines raise through the fee for the special Airway trust fund, which is described above.

Quoting catiii (Reply 14):

Their salaries were funded as part of a stopgap funding bill that was passed earlier in the year and that expires on September 30th.

Correct.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2927 times:

Quoting nycfly75 (Reply 11):
I believe that's not the case, they will be paid.

The congress can pass all the funding bills they want and "protect" any "essential" services they want. But when the government runs out of money, it doesn't matter, it just can't pay for it all, period. Without a raise to the debt ceiling, there will not be enough money to pay all government expenditures and obligations. Anyone and anything can go unpaid and someone will go unpaid for certain if that happens.

Without a lifting of the debt ceiling soon, the President should invoke his emergency powers given him in the constitution and direct the treasury to continue selling bonds in order to pay the governments obligations.


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 2802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 15):
Ah, thanks for that info.

Anytime. I actually was confused by that myself. I believe what happened was that the Congress did some type of stopgap funding legislation for 2011 for the entire federal government (including FAA) that expires on September 30th. The federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1-September 30th, so I assume it coincides with that? There may be people who work for FAA or the federal government that can correct me on that.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting catiii (Reply 18):
Congress did some type of stopgap funding legislation

Without money, nothing can be funded. That's the problem now. It's not a simple government shut down where money is still available to fund things, like in the 1990s when Clinton was president. That time around there was money in the US Treasury, just no agreement on how to spend it. This is completely different. Here, the US Treasury will run out of money - empty pockets so to speak. And you can't fund things with empty pockets.


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 2802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 19):
That's the problem now.

I think the debate on raising the debt ceiling, while certainly part of it, is unrelated to the FAA legislation that the original poster mentioned. To your larger point yes, the whole issue is moot on August 2nd if the debt ceiling isn't raise because the country borrows to meet its budget, so without the ability to borrow then yes, there will be no money per se to meet its obligations through the end of the fiscal year on 9/30. However as the original poster noted (at least to my understanding) the legislation in question has to do with authorizing the FAA's functions.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Quoting catiii (Reply 20):
through the end of the fiscal year on 9/30

A failure to raise the debt ceiling, will mean that the US treasury will be unable to pay all it's bills in the beginning of August. That is when the money runs short. That's how close it is and how irresponsible it has become. No amount of legislation will magically produce more cash, except for the one authorizing the Treasury to continue selling bonds (raising the ceiling). Absent that, shut downs is the only answer as there will not be enough money. Each agency would probably continue operating with cash on hand at the agency level in an emergency manner. But when that runs out, it's lights out, no matter what funding legislation exists or what Congress passes. No money = no funding, or short money = short funding.

Since there will be some money coming in, someone will have to prioritize who gets paid and who doesn't. The only certainty is that there is a huge hole come August. Airport construction, certification programs, etc.. all that would certainly stop almost immediately and who knows what else if it drags on and the agencies run out of cash on hand. Are the continued certification programs for the 787 and 747-8 essential? For the PW geared engine? The negative consequences to aviation and the nation are endless.


User currently offlinenycfly75 From Italy, joined Aug 2005, 750 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2756 times:

This thread has nothing to do with the debt ceiling and its issues. The legislation in question has to do with the FAA's authority to collect taxes via airline tickets, which expires Friday. Staff and programs funded through that tax will be put in limbo after Friday until the issue is resolved. It has nothing to do with funding of FAA's critical functions like ATC, safety and core staff.

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2607 times:

Quoting nycfly75 (Reply 22):
The legislation in question has to do with the FAA's authority to collect taxes via airline tickets, which expires Friday.


I stand corrected. I got a bit confused. But the FAA reauthorization bill is for the funding authorization of the entire FAA, not just parts of it or just for the EAS program. The EAS part may be under hot dispute, but the bill encompasses the entire agency. However, even that is overshadowed by the debt ceiling issue. Because even if the FAA reauthorization bill passes today, without a debt ceiling increase, there wouldn't be enough money to fund it regardless and they'd have to shut down or partially shut down even with a reauthorization bill. So there are two "must pass" bills the FAA needs quickly, not just one.

Essentially, this is about the FAA shutting down - or not.

"The two bodies are deadlocked over a temporary extension of a long-stalled FAA reauthorization bill, which funds the federal agency. The current extension expires at midnight Friday."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/20/co...ser-to-faa-shutdown/#ixzz1SlVwWg4k


User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1292 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2570 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 8):
Because it's wasteful. Would you take 34 cents out of your paocket everyday and throw it in the gutter? It's only 34 cents.
Quoting catiii (Reply 12):
It's still $12.5 million we do not need to be spending.

I obviously was not clear. I think these cuts need to be made - but they are peanuts. We need much larger cuts -orders of magnitudes.

Regarding the 34cents - of course I would not throw it in the gutter. But the US Government is doing that with far larger amounts - simply by continuing to print money it does not have. They are in essence throwing far more than 34 cents per year in the gutter - on my behalf.

I (have) lived in areas that were EAS served - and I would vote, today, to cancel it all with a possible exception of Alaska.



rcair1
25 Post contains links nycfly75 : Firstly, to say the FAA is "shutting down" is misleading. Its not shutting now. Its just media and political hyperbole. Whats happening is that any e
26 tommytoyz : Thanks for the clarification. I suppose then, that the rest of the 28,000 employees, who are not paid from the Airway Trust Fund, are paid by what the
27 Post contains images SPREE34 : Thank you.
28 robffm2 : So this is the first day of a hopefully short period that some FAA employees/projects have been at least temporarily terminated. What are the direct c
29 Post contains images Bennett123 : rcair1 Did you live in Alaska
30 Post contains links KarlB737 : Courtesy: WNEM-TV Airport Projects Halted In Michigan, Other States http://www.wnem.com/story/15141178/a...ts-halted-in-michigan-other-states
31 jwenting : Utterly wrong. They SHOULD instead find and cut away all the pork, waste, and other unnecessary expenses and cut those. When that's done, the budget
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