FAA Advises on Shutdown Operations

The Senate has failed in its effort to pass an extension of FAA operating authority so the FAA will begin partial shutdown procedures beginning at midnight tonight.

Earlier this afternoon, Kate Lang, Deputy Associate Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Airports held a conference call to update airports on the shutdown of “non-essential” FAA operations starting at midnight.  Please find information regarding FAA procedures during the shutdown below.  FAA has told ACI-NA that it will continue to update us directly. We will continue to keep you informed as changes both on the Hill and at FAA continue to unfold. 

FAA Staffing:

  • Managers in ADO’s and some Washington, DC based staff will be available for four hours on Monday, July 25th to help facilitate the shutdown.  After that time, they will not be available and all ADOs will be shut down.
  • Safety inspectors in the regional offices responsible for Part 139 certification are considered essential personnel and will remain on the job during the shutdown for Part 139 obligations only.
  • Only three staff members: Associate Administrator Christa Fornarotto, Deputy Associate Administrator Kate Lang, and Manager of the Airport Improvement Program Matt Thys willbe working in the Washington, DC FAA Office of Airports.  They are only permitted to work on matters related to restarting the work of the FAA Office of Airports after a new FAA extension is signed into law and to respond to any safety emergencies.

Impacts on AIP:

  • The FAA has now stopped all actions related to AIP grants, leaving $1.7 billion unobligated.
  •  Existing AIP payments made through FAA’s automatic ECHO payment system will continue to be dispersed, although FAA cannot say with certainly how long this will continue.  However, manual payments will no longer be made.  FAA estimates that about 50 percent of airports receive AIP payments through the ECHO system.  FAA promised to alert ACI-NA if there are any changes to this process.
  • No new projects will be approved for funding.  The FAA has promised to reestablish the approval system as soon as possible after the shutdown, however the length of time it will take to get the system up and running depends on the length of the shutdown. 
  •  FAA also said that a Federal Register notice will be issued on July 26 or July 27 alerting airports that they must inform FAA whether they will use their entitlements (those authorized to date AND any possible additional money) or carry the funds over to FY 2012.  These decisions will have to be made by August 12.

Collection of PFCs and airline taxes:

  •  ACI-NA has confirmed that the airlines will continue to collect Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) and make PFC payments even though they will not be collecting taxes on tickets sold.
  • Airlines will not collect ticket taxes or segment fees on tickets purchased after midnight on July 22.  Passengers that purchased their tickets prior to that time but who travel during the shutdown period are entitled to a refund of the taxes and segment fee. Passengers should contact their airline for specific information as to whether the carrier will provide the refund or if the passenger must obtain the funds from the Internal Revenue Service.

Please contact Jane Calderwood or Debby McElroy with any questions.