29-Apr-2013 12:26 PM

ACI-NA response to end furloughs is "bittersweet"

Airports Council InternationalNorth America (ACI-NA) board chair David N Edwards, Jr, the CEO of Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District, stated (26-Apr-2013) the association is "relieved that air traffic controller furloughs will soon end, returning our nation’s air transportation system to full capacity". Mr Edwards characterised the travel and financial impacts over the last week for passengers, airlines and airports as "substantial" adding "if such impacts continued there would have been a devastating negative economic effect on our nation". However, Mr Edwards said the association is "very disappointed that the Airport Improvement Programme (AIP) was used to pay for this fix, as these funds were paid by passengers to maintain and enhance airport runways and taxiways, not fund FAA operations.” [more - original PR]

ACI-NA: “ACI-NA supported other common sense bipartisan legislation that did not use AIP to eliminate the furloughs. Airports agree that passenger delays and inconvenience cannot continue, but raiding capital funding to pay for FAA operations is unprecedented and does not take into account the need to make critical safety, security and capacity improvements. Sadly, Congress missed an opportunity to allow airports to generate local funding for these necessary projects through raising the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) user fee, which would have offset the cut to AIP funding". David N Edwards, Jr, board chair. Source: Airports Council International – North America, 26-Apr-2013

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