The FAA's 2005 budget is smaller than last year's, but most of the cutbacks will have little impact on general aviation. And thanks to AOPA's strong presence on Capitol Hill, this year's spending bill once again includes language prohibiting the FAA from implementing any new user fees.
Congress sent the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2005, which began October 1, to President Bush Monday night. The bill funds most federal agencies, including the FAA.
Congress hit all federal budgets (except defense and homeland security) with an across-the-board cut of 0.8 percent. That means the FAA's $13.8 billion budget is $44 million less than in 2004. But the agency is taking most of the cut in its facilities and equipment budget. Programs important to general aviation were funded at or above requested levels.
The new bill includes money for things AOPA members have said are important to them, including research on a leaded avgas replacement and funding for general aviation airport improvements and new instrument approaches. For more details, see " AOPA successfully defends GA priorities in FAA budget."
December 7, 2004