By Ed Zwirn
(published on March 31, 2017 in IHS Jane’s Airport Review)
Senior US airport industry officials have reacted negatively to the first proposed budget from the Trump administration, which would see cuts in Department of Transportation funding to help offset increased military spending.
“While President Trump has been a vocal proponent of improving our airport infrastructure and enhancing security across the country, today’s budget proposal misses the mark when addressing these key airport challenges,” said Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) CEO Kevin Burke.
The Trump administration released its 2017-18 budget proposals on 16 March. A cut of USD2.4 billion at the Department of Transportation would include eliminating the USD200 million essential air service programme to subsidise rural and underutilised airports.
This is routed through the Essential Air Service programme, which subsidises twice-daily service to 175 rural airports that airlines may not otherwise visit.
Also proposed is cutting the ‘LEO Reimbursement Program’, through which more than 300 airports nationwide receive USD45 million annually to partially reimburse the cost of paying for law enforcement officers who help staff Transportation Security Agency (TSA) passenger security checkpoints.