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H.R. 2739 (103rd): Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

8/5/1994--Conference report filed in House. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Title I: Airport and Airway Improvement Title II: Other Aviation Programs Title III: Research, Engineering, and Development Title IV: Extension of Airport and Airway Trust Fund Expenditure Authority Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions Title VI: Intrastate Transportation of Property Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 - Title I: Airport and Airway Improvement - Amends Federal transportation law to authorize appropriations for FY 1994 through 1996 for: (1) airport planning and airport development projects; and (2) airport noise compatibility planning programs. (Sec. 102) Decreases the FY 1994 and FY 1995 authorization of appropriations for air navigation facilities. Authorizes appropriations for such facilities for FY 1996. Sets forth limits on appropriations for FY 1994 through 1996 for certain costs incurred for: (1) maintaining air navigation facilities; and (2) joint financing of air navigation services. (Sec. 103) Authorizes appropriations for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through FY 1996. (Sec. 104) Declares congressional policy that the airport improvement program should be administered to encourage projects that employ innovative technology that will promote safety, capacity, and efficiency improvements in the construction of airports and in the air transportation system, including the development and use of innovative concrete and other materials in the construction of such facilities to minimize initial laydown costs, minimize time out of service, and maximize lifecycle durability. (Sec. 105) Includes as an "airport development" activity the acquisition or installation at or by a public-use airport of explosive detection devices and universal access systems. (Sec. 106) Authorizes a State to submit to the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) an application for an airport development and planning project grant that benefits one or more (currently, at least two) State airports. (Sec. 107) Authorizes the Secretary to approve the replacement or reconstruction of pavement at an airport only if the sponsor has provided assurances that such airport has implemented an airport pavement maintenance-management program. (Sec. 108) Repeals certain conditions relating to the approval of an aviation airport project application. (Sec. 109) Requires the Secretary prior to the approval of a project grant application for construction of a new hub airport that is expected to have 0.25 percent or more of the total annual enplanements in the United States to report to the Congress on its impact on: (1) fees incurred by air carriers for using the proposed airport; (2) air transportation that will be provided in the geographic region by it; and (3) the availability and cost of providing air transportation to rural areas in such region. (Sec. 110) Declares congressional policy that: (1) airport fees must be reasonable and may only be used for purposes not prohibited by this Act; (2) airports should be self-sustaining; and (3) in establishing new fees and generating new revenues from all sources, airport owners and operators should not create revenue surpluses that exceed amounts to be used for the airport system. (Sec. 111) Authorizes the Secretary to approve a project grant application for an airport development project only if he or she receives, among other things, assurances that the airport owner or operator will submit to the Secretary and make available to the public an annual report listing: (1) amounts paid by the airport to any other government unit and the purposes for which such payment was made; and (2) services and property provided to such units and the amount of compensation received for them. Requires the Secretary to prescribe a uniform format for reporting that is designed to enable the public to understand how airport funds are collected and spent. Directs the Secretary to provide specified congressional committees annual summaries of the above-mentioned airport financial report. (Sec. 112) Directs the Secretary to establish procedures that will: (1) prohibit diversion of airport revenues; (2) take into account whether owners and operators have taken reasonable steps to make airports self-sustaining; and (3) mandate Department of Transportation (DOT) administrative safeguards to respond to complaints regarding possible specified violations. Requires the Secretary to withhold approval of any new grant applications for airport development projects or applications to impose a passenger facility fee if, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary finds a violation of specified grant assurances regarding airport revenues. Provides for judicial enforcement. Sets forth both civil and administrative penalties. Requires the Secretary, when deciding whether or not to distribute certain discretionary funds to an airport, to consider as a factor militating against distribution the fact that the airport is using revenues generated by the airport or by local fuel aviation taxes for purposes other than capital or operating costs of the airport or the local airport system or other local facilities which are owned or operated by the owner or operator of the airport, and directly related to the actual air transportation of passengers or property. Prohibits States, because it unreasonably burdens and discriminates against interstate commerce, from levying a tax, fee, or charge exclusively upon a business located at a commercial service airport or operating as a permittee of such airport other than one that is wholly utilized for airport or aeronautical purposes. (Sec. 113) Sets forth procedures for resolution of complaints of the reasonableness of fees imposed by owners or operators of airports on air carriers. (Sec. 114) Repeals a provision regarding the Federal share of costs for commercial airport development. (Sec. 115) Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the obligation of amounts for airport development and planning projects pursuant to a letter of intent in the same fiscal year as the letter is issued. (Sec. 116) Extends the military airport set-aside program through FY 1996. Requires the Secretary to designate not more than 15 (currently, 12) current or former military airports to receive grants to improve the capacity of the national air transportation system. Authorizes the Secretary to designate such grants only if they would reduce delays at an airport with more than 20,000 hours of annual delays in commercial passenger aircraft takeoffs and landings. Eliminates the extension of any additional years after the five-year period that such airports are eligible to receive such funds. Authorizes a specified amount of discretionary airport development and planning funds for FY 1994 through 1996 for construction, improvement, or repair of airport surface parking lots, fuel farms, and utilities at such airports. (Sec. 117) Authorizes specified amounts made available to commercial service airports which annually have less than .05 percent of the total enplanements in the United States between January 1 and October 31, 1992, to be used to repay money borrowed to pay costs for airport terminal development provided such costs can be considered an allowable cost and were incurred after September 3, 1982. (Sec. 118) Authorizes the FAA Administrator to contract for the collection of airport safety data using sole source or limited source authority. (Sec. 119) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants, in specified circumstances, to operators of airports and to units of local government for projects to soundproof residential buildings and to acquire residential properties at which noise levels are not compatible with normal operations of an airport. (Sec. 120) Directs the Secretary to purchase precision approach instrument landing system equipment for installation at airports. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1995 and 1996. (Sec. 121) Directs the Secretary to review the passenger facility charge program and take any corrective action necessary to address any problems with such program. Title II: Other Aviation Programs - Limits to five years the term of office of any individual appointed as FAA Administrator after enactment of this Act. (Sec. 202) Authorizes the FAA Administrator to provide safety-related training and operational services to foreign aviation authorities provided such services promote aviation safety. Requires the FAA Administrator to transmit to the Congress an annual list of foreign aviation authorities provided such services in the preceding fiscal year, including the dollar value and any reimbursement received for them. (Sec. 203) Includes as an "eligible airport-related project" with respect to the imposition of passenger facility fees the construction, reconstruction, repair, or improvement of an airport or actions to mitigate the environmental effects of such construction, reconstruction, repair, or improvement when they are necessary for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Clean Air Act, or the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. (Sec. 204) Prohibits the imposition of a passenger facility fee on a passenger enplaning at an airport if such passenger did not pay for the air transportation which resulted in such enplanement, including in cases where the passenger obtained the ticket with a frequent flier award coupon without monetary payment. (Sec. 205) Prohibits an air carrier or foreign air carrier from installing, transporting, operating, or permitting the use of any gambling device on board an aircraft in foreign air transportation. Requires the Secretary to study the effects of gambling on commercial aircraft. (Sec. 206) Requires the Secretary, if basic essential air service is to be provided from an eligible point to a high density airport (other than Washington National Airport), to ensure that the air carrier providing such service has sufficient operational authority at the airport to provide such service. Sets forth specified exemptions for air carriers (including new entrant air carriers) and foreign air carriers providing air service to such airports (including Washington National Airport). Declares that if the Secretary finds that an exemption would significantly increase operational delays, he or she shall take action to ensure that air carriers providing basic essential air service are able to obtain access to a high density airport. States that the Secretary shall not be required to make slots available at O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, if there are at least 132 slots available for basic essential air service to and from it. Prohibits the Secretary from taking a slot at a high density airport from a domestic air carrier and awarding it to a foreign air carrier if it is determined that domestic carriers are not provided equivalent rights of access to airports in the country of which the foreign carrier is a citizen. Requires the Secretary to complete the current examination of slot regulations and to report its results to specified congressional committees. Requires the Secretary to conduct a rulemaking proceeding based on the results of the examination. Prohibits the Secretary, in determining what is basic essential air service and in selecting an air carrier to provide such service, from considering as a factor whether slots at high density airports are available for providing such service. (Sec. 207) Prohibits a carrier from terminating interstate air transportation from a nonhub airport unless it has given the Secretary at least 45 days' notice before such termination. Sets forth specified exceptions. Requires the Secretary to establish conditions under which regional/commuter carriers can be excluded from such notice requirements. Sets forth civil penalties for violations of such requirements. (Sec. 208) Limits State or local income tax liability for compensation paid by an air carrier to an employee on leave from regular duty in order to perform services on behalf of the employee's airline union. (Sec. 209) Authorizes the FAA Administrator to collect fees for providing as a service any test, authorization, certificate, permit, rating, evaluation, approval, inspection, or review outside of the United States. Requires the FAA Administrator to collect fees for certification and inspection of repair stations outside of the United States. Title III: Research, Engineering, and Development - Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering, and Development Authorization Act of 1994 - Authorizes FY 1995 and 1996 appropriations for specified areas of airway improvement research, engineering, and development. (Sec. 303) Provides for the establishment of a joint aviation research and development program. Authorizes FY 1995 and 1996 appropriations from funds otherwise authorized by this Act. (Sec. 304) Establishes an aircraft cabin air quality research program. Authorizes FY 1995 and 1996 appropriations from funds otherwise authorized by this Act. (Sec. 305) Prohibits the fraudulent use of "Made in America" labels and requires compliance with the Buy American Act. (Sec. 306) Expresses the sense of the Congress that grantees under this Act should purchase American-made equipment and products. (Sec. 307) Authorizes the FAA Administrator to enter into cooperative agreements with Federal and non-Federal entities to promote aviation research, engineering, and development, including the development of prototypes and demonstration models. (Sec. 308) Requires the FAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrators to study technologies for noise reduction of propeller driven aircraft and rotorcraft. Requires the FAA and NASA Administrators to transmit to the Congress a report containing the results of such study. Title IV: Extension of Airport and Airway Trust Fund Expenditure Authority - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend the expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund through October 1, 1996. Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions - Directs the FAA Administrator to complete a rulemaking proceeding and issue a final decision on whether there should be a reduction in the annualized rate of random testing for prohibited drugs now required of personnel engaged in aviation activities. (Sec. 502) Requires the Secretary not later than March 31 of each year (currently, December 31) to report to the Congress on transportation security. (Sec. 503) Repeals a specified section of the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979 relating to an annual report to the Congress concerning the status of the development of collision avoidance systems in the national air traffic control system. (Sec. 504) Requires the FAA Administrator to consider for approval under a specified section of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) the new generation, low cost, advanced landing system being developed by the Department of Defense (DOD). (Sec. 505) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1995 for asbestos abatement activities and the demolition and removal of buildings at the vacant Air Force station located on Mount Tamalpais, Marin County, California. (Sec. 506) Authorizes the Secretary to approve an upward adjustment not to exceed a specified amount in the maximum U.S. obligation under an airport improvement program grant to a reliever airport after September 1, 1989, and before October 1, 1989, in order to assist in funding increased land acquisition costs. (Sec. 507) Requires the Secretary, in the interest of protecting the health of air travelers, to publish a list of the countries that require disinsection of aircraft landing in countries while passengers and crew are aboard it. (Sec 508) Directs the Secretary to take appropriate action to assist communities in obtaining the installation of Level I Contract Towers. (Sec. 509) Prohibits the FAA Administrator from publishing, or contracting with any other organization for the publishing of, the "Aviation Safety Journal." (Sec. 510) Prescribes conditions under which the Secretary may grant releases from the terms of a specified deed of conveyance under which the United States conveyed certain property, for airport purposes, to: (1) the city of Monroe, Louisiana; (2) the city of Soldotna, Alaska; (3) the Union County Air Board, Kentucky; (4) the city of Rolla, Missouri; and (5) the city of Palm Springs, California. (Sec. 515) Directs the FAA Administrator to convey certain FAA buildings and properties to: (1) the Iditarod Area School District at Lake Minchumina, Alaska, for the purpose of providing educational facilities; and (2) the city of Fort Yukon, Alaska, for the purpose of providing health services. Requires the FAA Administrator to designate certain airports and provide human observers there to offer real time weather information to pilots by radio contact. (Sec. 516) Requires compensation received by the United States from the transfer of the San Jacinto Disposal Area to the City of Galveston, Texas, to include compensation to the FAA for costs to replace existing airway facilities on such area. (Sec. 517) Permits, under specified conditions, nighttime takeoffs and landings at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, Colorado, for pilots operating under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules under the CFR. Declares that the owner or operator of such airport shall be considered in compliance with specified aviation safety requirements and not unjustly discriminatory to air carriers if they notify the FAA Administrator that they commit to: (1) modify their existing regulation to expand access to general aviation operations under the above-mentioned conditions for night operations at such airport; and (2) permanently not enforce regulations eliminating the so-called "ski season exception" to its nighttime curfew. Directs the FAA Administrator to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on mountain flying. (Sec. 518) Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of Labor to study and report to the Congress on whether employees of airports operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority should be given the right to bargain collectively. (Sec. 519) Directs the Secretary to report every other month to specified congressional committees on the status of aviation bilateral and multilateral negotiations and consultations with U.S. aviation trade partners. (Sec. 520) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on innovative approaches for using Federal funds to finance airport development as a means of supplementing financing available under the Airport Improvement Program. (Sec. 521) Directs the Secretary to study the safety of the approaches to the Juneau International Airport, Alaska. (Sec. 522) Directs the Secretary to study and report to specified congressional committees on the effectiveness of restraint systems that may offer protection for children carried in the lap of an adult aboard an aircraft or provide for the attachment of such systems to the aircraft. (Sec. 523) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Inspector General of the DOT in carrying out the duties of the Inspector General Act of 1978 has oversight responsibilities and may conduct audits and investigations relating to funds appropriated to the Congress and made available for programs at Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. (Sec. 524) Declares that it is the sense of the Senate that the Secretary should receive DOT's cost and benefit analysis process to fully take projected military enplanement and cost savings figures into consideration with regard to radar installation at joint-use civilian and military airports. Expresses the sense of the Senate with respect to aircraft radar needs of the Cheyenne, Wyoming, airport and of Southeast Wyoming. (Sec. 525) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the United States and the Republic of Korea should take action to deter and, if necessary, repel an attack from a nuclear-armed North Korea. (Sec. 526) Expresses the sense of the Senate that, for purposes of issuing guidelines under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in connection with proposed guidelines published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on October 1, 1993, that: (1) the category of religion should be withdrawn from the proposed guidelines; (2) any new guidelines for the determination of religious harassment should be drafted to make clear that expressions of religious belief consistent with the first amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 are not to be restricted and do not constitute proof of harassment; and (3) the EEOC should hold public hearings and receive additional public comment before issuing similar new regulations. Title VI: Intrastate Transportation of Property - Prohibits a State, political subdivision, or political authority of two or more States from enforcing any law related to price, route, or service of an air carrier or carrier affiliated with a direct air carrier through common controlling ownership when such carrier is transporting property by aircraft or by motor vehicle. Declares that States shall not be prohibited from enforcing safety regulatory and related insurance matters with respect to motor carriers.