June 3, 2015 // Paul Rinaldi column in Eno Transportation Weekly
Imploring Senate Committee to Guarantee Stable Funding, Not Just Address FAA Structure
On May 19, I testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at its hearing on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization, with a focus on air traffic control modernization and reform. My message was direct: the lack of stable or predictable funding for the National Airspace System (NAS) is unacceptable, and a major change is needed in order to maintain and advance the system’s safety and efficiency.
My testimony outlined existing problems at the FAA, including repeated interruptions to the funding stream and their negative effects on the NAS. The upcoming FAA Reauthorization bill must deal with funding issues in order to safeguard a safety-focused operational system that serves the nation’s transportation and economic needs every hour of every day.
We understand that addressing the funding problems may lead to an examination of potential structural changes for the FAA. But we implored the committee not to limit its focus. Any change that fails to guarantee a stable, predictable funding stream could create new unintended consequences without solving the true dilemma.