The Administration has no objection to House passage of H.R. 4057, which
authorizes funding for programs of the Federal Aviation Administration for
FY 1999. The Administration would have preferred a more comprehensive
four-year proposal for FAA reauthorization which included a Passenger
Facility Charge (PFC) increase and financial reforms. The Administration,
however, appreciates that the bill includes a number of its proposals and
is generally consistent with the President's budget request. The
Administration will nevertheless seek amendments in the Senate to:
- Delete the requirement to establish a new program to subsidize up to 20
air traffic control "contract towers" that otherwise would not qualify for
FAA funding. The Administration strongly supports the existing contract
tower program, but opposes this new program because it would divert scarce
Federal aviation dollars to non-cost-beneficial activities.
- Delete the special interest projects that compete with important
- Delete the proposed expansion of projects eligible to use revenues from
Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs). Any changes in current project
eligibility requirements should await completion of ongoing studies on the
impact of PFCs on airline competition.
- Delete a provision that would delay enforcement of necessary safety
standards for certain pilots.
- Revise Title VII so that the existence within the Government and the
membership on the Centennial of Flight Commission is consistent with
Federal criminal conflict of interest laws.
- Clarify FAA's authority to collect overflight fees.
- Expand innovative financing options available to States by authorizing
them to use block grant funding to establish revolving loan funds.
- Eliminate the language, from the requirement for a rulemaking related
to the use of Flight Operations Quality Assurance Program data in civil
enforcement actions, that appears to suggest what the outcome of the
rulemaking should be.