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Highlights

To address the strain on the aviation system, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed transitioning to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). To fund this system and to make its costs to users more equitable, the Administration has proposed fundamental changes in the way that FAA is funded. As part of the reauthorization, the Administration proposes major changes in the way that grants through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) are funded and allocated to the 3,400 airports in the national airport system. In response, GAO was asked for an update on current funding levels for airport development and the sufficiency of those levels to meet planned development costs. This report comprises capital development estimates made by FAA and Airports Council International (ACI), a leading industry association; analyzes how much airports have received for capital development and if sustained, whether it can meet future planned development; and summarizes the effects of proposed changes in funding for airport development. Airport funding and planned development data are drawn from the best available sources and have been assessed for their reliability. The Department of Transportation agreed with the findings of this report. This report does not contain recommendations.

Full Report