March 08, 2005

Crapo Amendment Brings Money To Idaho Airports

Federal government to provide more for improvements at small airports

Washington, DC - Under an amendment authored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and included in todayâ??s successful passage of S. 824, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, Idahoâ??s airports will see an increase in the federal governmentâ??s share of certain airport improvement projects.â??This is an important funding step for Idahoâ??s airports,â?? Crapo said. â??Because so much of Idaho is owned by the federal government, our state and its local governments are limited to a much smaller tax base, making it harder to fund airport projects. By increasing the federal governmentâ??s share of project costs under the Airport Improvement Program, we will be able to make our airports more efficient and safer. Smaller airports like most of those in Idaho are traditionally more reliant on AIP grants than large and medium hub airports, where revenue is more easily generated through user fees and bonds.The amendment provides an upward adjustment in the federal government's share of project costs under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). AIP provides federal grants for airport development and planning. The grants are generally used for capital improvements related to aircraft operations.The full measure, S.824, reauthorizes appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for fiscal years 2004 through 2006. The bill also provides $10.5 billion for the AIP to improve capacity and safety at the nationâ??s airports; authorizes $8.9 billion to upgrade the FAAâ??s air traffic control system; establishes a funding mechanism to pay for security capitol costs at airports; and streamlines the process for approving and constructing airport capacity projects. # # #