Congress Set to Pass Huge FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Many thanks to TJ Schultz (new President of ACC) for eloquently (and quickly!) summarizing the FY14 Appropriations Bill that Congress will (we hope) shortly pass.  Could it be that we can have a reasonably normal year funding-wise?  Know hope.

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The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are preparing to consider a huge 1,500+ page omnibus appropriations bill that provides funding for all federal agencies in FY 2014, including the FAA and TSA. The omnibus bill is a result of the budget agreement reached by the House and Senate in December, which set overall funding levels for each federal department in 2014 and 2015. The budget agreement removed the automatic sequester cuts, so federal programs will likely not be subject to rescissions this fiscal year or next.

With the current short-term continuing resolution (CR) expiring today, Congress will likely pass an extension bill for a few days to allow each chamber time to consider and pass the omnibus legislation.

Below are the highlights:

Federal Aviation Administration

Final FY 2014 Appropriations Funding Levels (in billions)

FY 2013 Enacted (post sequester)

 

FY 2014 Admin. Budget Request

FY 2014 House

FY 2014 Senate

FY 2014

Final

FAA Total

$15.266

$15.550

$15.171

$15.9

$15.634

  Operations

$9.4

$9.7

$9.5

$9.7

$9.651

  F&E

$2.6

$2.7

$2.15

$2.7

$2.6

  Research

$.158

$.166

$.145

$.160

$.158

  AIP

$3.09

$2.9

$3.35

$3.35

$3.35

Highlights:

  • Funds AIP at its authorized level of $3.35 billion in 2014. With the omnibus likely to pass by next week, the FAA should have more time to work with airport sponsors to distribute AIP funding over the remaining portion of the fiscal year, compared to last year when the FY 2013 appropriations and sequester became final in March.
  • The Operations account is funded at $9.65 billion, which is $255 million above the FY 2013 post-sequestration amount. A total of $140 million is set aside for the contract tower program.
  • Appropriators kept the FAA Facilities & Equipment account at the same post-sequestration FY 2013 funding level, which is $178 million less than the president’s budget request.
  • ACRP is funded at its authorized level of $15 million.
  • $149 million is appropriated for the Essential Air Service program. There is a provision prohibiting DOT from renewing an EAS contract with a community less than 40 miles from a hub airport unless a negotiated cost share with the community has been arranged.

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