US Senate approves THUD Appropriations Act to improve airport infrastructure

The US Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Appropriations Subcommittee has approved its FY2018 appropriations bill, which will increase the cap on the airport passenger facility charge (PFC).

The new Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act provides $60.058bn in discretionary spending for the US Department of Transportation, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as related agencies.

Welcoming the launch of the bill, the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) said that it will support the improvement of airport infrastructure by upgrading the local PFC user fee and increasing funding for the Airport Improvement Programme (AIP).

ACI-NA president and CEO Kevin Burke said: “The Senate’s transportation funding bill is the first bill that puts real action behind the rhetoric by providing sustainable funding streams to help airports of all sizes upgrade their facilities, attract new air service, and improve the passenger experience.

"The Senate’s transportation funding bill will provide sustainable funding streams to help airports of all sizes upgrade their facilities."

“Senators Susan Collins and Jack Reed demonstrated strong leadership and political courage today by providing all airports with a real funding solution to meet their $100bn in aviation infrastructure needs.”

Under the act, $16.97bn will be allocated in total budgetary resources for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

The bill also provides $1.1bn for the FAA Next Generation Air Transportation Systems (NextGen), and fully funds the Contract Towers programme to help ease future congestion and reduce delays for travellers in US airspace. 

It aims to benefit airports that generate more local revenue for projects that help increase aviation safety, enhance capacity, and improve passenger experiences.

The new bill will provide airports and other local communities across North America with funding flexibility, which will allow them to enhance their facilities and deliver additional air services.