Washington, D.C. - The American Association of Airport Executives and Airports Council International - North America today issued the following joint statement today during an aviation community rally to end the government shutdown:
"And, here we are again highlighting the impacts of yet another budget crisis on airports and the aviation industry. We've all seen this movie before, and it's time to find a new ending.
"In the summer of 2011, the FAA shutdown for two weeks. The result? Employee furloughs, the suspension of airport construction grants and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been used to fund airport and aviation system infrastructure upgrades.
"Earlier this year, sequestration cuts at the FAA led to more furloughs and system disruptions, threatened the closure of critical air traffic control facilities, and ultimately led to the diversion of a quarter billion dollars in airport construction grants to fund FAA operations.
"Those investments are gone forever, and already some in Washington have called for using AIP funds again in the months ahead to mitigate against the impacts of yet another anticipated crisis that will result if sequestration remains in place.
"Enough is enough. Airports and our aviation system have bent under the continuous strain of these repeated crises, and we are on the verge of breaking.
"Airport officials are left to wonder if there will be adequate federal staffing to handle air traffic, man screening checkpoints, and process arriving international passengers. They lack the certainty they need to plan, finance, and undertake the infrastructure development needed to meet current and future demand.
"Enough is enough. AAAE and ACI-NA renew our call to Congress to:
• End the current impasse on short-term government funding and the debt limit;
• Eliminate sequestration and the meat-ax approach to government spending that continues to threaten our 24 hour a day/7 day a week aviation system;
• Ensure that limited AIP funds aren't further diverted to finance FAA operations;
• Give airports the self-help they need in the face of continued federal budget uncertainty to invest in critical infrastructure by lifting the federal cap on local Passenger Facility Charge user fees.
"Enough is enough "
ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.
ABOUT ACI-NA: Airports Council International - North America represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. More than 340 aviation-related businesses are also members of the association, which is the largest of the five worldwide regions of Airports Council International.