Congressman introduces clause to fund aviation's equipage of NextGen

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty Source: Aviation Week Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) is proposing to add a clause to the FAA reauthorization bill that would provide grants and loan guarantees for aircraft operators to equip for the NextGen program. Lipinski is one of the minority members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. He has not said how he will attempt to include his proposal in the reauthorization bill that will soon be introduced by Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.). Unless Mica decides to incorporate it, the proposal will likely be offered as an amendment. While there is broad bipartisan support for NextGen, authorizing new spending could be a tough sell in the House. Under the proposal, the FAA would be authorized to issue grants of up to 20% of the cost of equipping aircraft for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). The proposal specifies ADS-B "out," which will be used to improve surveillance for controllers. A second part of the proposal would authorize loan guarantees of up to 80% of equipage costs. Under certain conditions, the remaining 20% could be met by the direct grant.

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