February 9, 2001
Proposed FAA Budget Cuts Threaten More Airline Delays
WASHINGTON, D.C.---A Bush administration proposal to cut FAA funding by $568 million will add to airline travelers woes by delaying fixes to the air traffic control system, according to the president of the Air Line Pilots Association.
This is simply incomprehensible. After the worst air travel period in history last summer, the administration is proposing to cut back on FAA capital and operating expenditures by more than a half a billion dollars, said Capt. Duane Woerth, president of ALPA, which represents 59,000 airline pilots at 49 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
This includes a $368 million shortfall in capital programs as guaranteed in the AIR 21 legislation, plus a $200 million shortfall in FAAs operational funds as authorized by AIR 21. The FAA operational funds actually will be $600 million short of what the agency says it needs to carry out its responsibilities, Woerth said.
Anything less than full FAA funding jeopardizes its ability to regulate safety and provide desperately needed improvements to the air traffic control system, Woerth said. Congressmen Don Young and Jim Oberstar can add our names to the growing list of individuals and organizations who are alarmed by this development.
I urge President Bush to withdraw this proposal immediately and restore full funding. We already are paying the price for decades of neglect of our aviation infrastructure. The government should be pushing the throttles forward on infrastructure expansion and modernization, not putting out the speed brakes, Woerth said.
Visit the ALPA Web site at http://cf.alpa.org for more information on various aviation issues.
ALPA CONTACT: John Mazor (703) 481-4440