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Congress established two key programs to help support air service to small communities--the Essential Air Service (EAS) providing about $100 million in subsidies per year and the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) that provides about $20 million per year in grants.
Airbus S.A.S (Airbus), a European aircraft manufacturer, introduced a new aircraft, the A380 that will be the largest passenger aircraft in the world with expected delivery to its first customers in late 2006. The A380 has a double deck and is expected to seat between 555 and 853 passengers.
Over the last decade significant changes have occurred in the airline industry. Many legacy carriers are facing challenging financial conditions and low cost carriers are attracting passengers away from some small community airports.
The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 has laid a foundation of results-oriented agency planning, measurement, and reporting in the federal government. Performance planning and measurement have slowly, yet increasingly, become a part of agencies' cultures.
Since Congress enacted the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21 Century (AIR-21) 3 years ago, much has changed. At that time, the focus was on reducing congestion and flight delays.
In 2000, Congress created general aviation entitlement grants to provide funding up to $150,000 per fiscal year to individual general aviation airports. These grants fund capital improvements and repair projects.
Aviation experts believe that building runways is one key way to address airport capacity issues and prevent delays that can affect the entire U.S. economy, but runway projects are often controversial and time-consuming.