Posts Tagged ‘ACC’

Congress Set to Pass Huge FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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.

ACC logo

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


FAA Total































  • 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.

Thank you, Paula!

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan

Paula Hochsteler, ACC President

Paula Hochsteler, ACC President








I’m just back from the Airport Consultants Council Annual Conference in Tucson, Arizona, where there was an extended appreciation for Paula Hochstetler’s service to ACC and the industry.  I thought I’d add my voice to the chorus of thanks for everything Paula has done to make ACC really be the expert voice of airports.  Paula has been insightful, generous with her time, and a real model of successful implementation of a long range vision.

I also would like to congratulate TJ Schulz on his appointment as ACC’s new President.  I look forward to working with TJ, and watching ACC continue to flourish under his leadership.

Congratulations to you both!

Are we having fun yet?

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan

It was with some surprise that I heard TJ Schulz, incoming President of the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) quote me saying we don’t have fun anymore.   But apparently I did, in an article that has just been published in Airport Consulting.  The point I was trying to make is that one of the things that has changed most over the course of my career is the sense that folks are so busy being efficient, productive, and yes – billable – that we don’t take enough time to appreciate our colleagues.   There is apparently a great body of research to support the fact that ‘fun at work’ is important to success.


Airport Consulting, Summer 2013

Airport Consulting, Summer 2013

This issue also has a good discussion of generational issues in the workplace, and I’m interested that there are even general differences in thinking about what’s ‘fun’ at work.  So maybe this summer – when things might be just a little bit less frantic – we should try to relax.  Just a bit.  It’s good for us.

Two Articles in ACC Publication

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

by Diana Khera

“The implementation of new Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) routes and procedures will lead to enhancements in the use of airspace, resulting in increased safety, efficiency and environmental benefits. The latest version of FAA’s NextGen Implementation Plan will provide additional detail and clarity on these near-term applications. But what about longer-term NextGen initiatives and what will they mean for airport facilities?”

The latest ACC ConsultingMagazine, a quarterly publication, has an article by me on airport-related far–term NextGen initiatives (excerpted above).  There is also a ‘real-life application’ story by Bob Miller that follows the article.  The magazine and articles are posted online here.

Report from ACC/AAAE Planning Design and Construction Symposium

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 ACC/AAAE Planning Design and Construction Symposium this week in Atlanta (where the weather was more like Siberia, but that was probably a good way to keep us attending sessions!).

A couple of general themes that emerged were:

  • The aviation industry has done an incredible job of spending the $1.1b allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, strongly demonstrating that: (1) our industry can work collaboratively and efficiently to deliver projects, and (2) there is a strong need for continued infrastructure investment in aviation.  Specifically, John Duvall of AAAE reported that all the funding was allocated as of January 2010; a total of 326 ARRA projects were approved, and already 185 have been completed.  Certainly jobs were created in this industry!  There is discussion that aviation may receive an additional $500m in funding through the current Jobs Bill being debated in Congress.
  • Nevertheless, according to Ben DeCosta of Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport (the world’s busiest), the number one issue facing airports today is a lack of revenue that flows throughout the industry.  Accordingly, the industry must continue to “design to budget”.  Susan Baer of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey echoed that while the industry has never been “wasteful”, it is more important than ever to prioritize cost in design – her example was the new JetBlue Terminal at JFK (here and here), where significant emphasis was paid to cost, and still a gorgeous result.

I spent most of my time at the Symposium attending the Sustainability Track. Suzanne Geckle of CH2M HILL did a great job organizing a diverse and information-packed agenda, even though she just returned from maternity leave this week (that’s my kind of gal!).  Sessions included: 

  • Can Airports Meet LEED Goals?
  • Funding Green Initiatives
  • Lasting Passenger Friendly Sustainable Materials
  • Sustainable Airfields
  • IT Controls to Reduce Costs and Emissions

I particularly enjoyed presentations by Mike Kenney of KB Environmental Sciences on IT and Air Quality Modeling, and Ripley Rasmus of HOK on sustainable design for Indianapolis International Airport’s new LEED Terminal.

Finally, my personal highlight of the conference was the announcement of the 2010 Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award to Rick Busch at Denver International Airport.  DIA has been an HMMH client since its inception, and we are very proud to see Rick and his team get the recognition they deserve for a comprehensive, innovative, and effective noise management program.

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport