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FAA's Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Request: Key Issues Facing the Agency

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The Inspector General testified on FAA's fiscal year 2009 budget request before the House Subcommittee on Aviation. The Inspector General stated that FAA is facing the formidable challenge of operating and maintaining an increasingly strained aviation system while transitioning to the next generation of air traffic control. FAA will face challenges in these efforts as it does not have a long-term reauthorization or financing mechanism in place.

The Inspector General noted that reaching agreement on a financing mechanism is an urgent matter because taxing and spending authority for FAA programs will expire on February 29, 2008. The Inspector General's testimony focused on key issues that require Agency attention, regardless of the funding mechanism that Congress ultimately chooses, as they will shape FAA's funding requirements over the next several years. These include: (1) keeping existing modernization projects on track and moving forward with the Next Generation Air Traffic Management System (NextGen), (2) addressing attrition and training issues within FAA's air traffic controller and safety inspector workforces, and (3) establishing realistic funding levels for airports.