Bush administration restores aviation funding
WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The Bush administration has agreed to restore $568 million in aviation funding to its fiscal 2002 budget plan, congressional and other sources said on Thursday.
Administration figures are not finished, one source said, but basically the White House has agreed to rescind its plan to reduce aviation spending.
More than half the money to be restored, $368 million, is earmarked for aviation capital improvement projects. The remaining $200 million was earmarked for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) general operating budget.
The money is part of a congressionally approved program to boost aviation spending.
The FAA's current budget is $12.3 billion.
The Bush administration, in its budget planning for fiscal 2002, is trying to cut the rate of growth in federal spending by reducing outlays for discretionary programs.
The next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Key members of Congress and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta had lobbied the OMB to keep the aviation money in place after the administration spending blueprint called for cuts.
Transportation officials and supporters in Congress said capital projects and full funding of FAA programs are more critical now than ever before.
The aviation industry is wrestling with record flight delays blamed largely on capacity shortfalls and an overburdened air traffic system.
Copyright 2001 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.