Trump Signs $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill into Law

posted in: Legislative Updates | 0

Highly Anticipated Increase to the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Fails to Garner Enough Support for Takeoff

Before adjourning for their spring recess, Congress passed and the President signed H.R.1625, the FY 2018, $1.3 trillion dollar federal spending bill which will fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2018. Though the White House issued a statement on behalf of the Administration on Thursday supporting the bill, the President himself threatened to veto the bill on Twitter Friday morning, citing a lack of DACA support and lower than desired levels of funding for his proposed border wall. The threat ultimately proved hollow as the measure was ultimately signed.

The bill includes $70.3 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Transportation (DOT); including $18 billion in total budgetary resources for the Federal Aviation Administration; an increase of $1.6 billion above fiscal year 2017. In addition, the measure reauthorizes FAA operations through September. Notable omissions from the bill included ATC reform, reduced flight pilot training hours, and an increase in the passenger facility charge (PFC). Other significant accepted provisions impacting aviation include:

  • $1.27 billion for NextGen to modernize the air traffic control system and full funding of air traffic control personnel
  • $1 billion in new discretionary budget authority for grants for high priority airport construction projects and language to prioritize funding for small and rural airports
  • $165 million for the Contract Tower program
  • $24 million to address cybersecurity requirements for air traffic control
  • $294 million for DataComm
  • $24 million for unmanned aircraft systems research
  • $5 million to continue the ongoing remote tower project, including operating costs, and to deploy and pilot remote tower systems to at least two additional airports
  • $4.9 billion provided for TSA Aviation Screening Operations
  • $151 million for TSA Aviation Screening Infrastructure
  • A provision forbidding the use of appropriated funds to eliminate the Contract Weather Observers program at any airport

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *