Aviation Conspiracy Newsletter #37........................................................November 14, 1999 ===================================================================
Airport "Improvement" Act Shot Down???
Air Transportation "Improvement" Act/FAA Reauthorization Shot Down? The Aviation Industry's number one man in Congress, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Rep. "Bud" Shuster is outraged that the Senate is not going to go along with his, and Sen. "Insane" McCain's, budget-busting scheme to take control of federal aviation tax spending away from Congress (and give it to him and McCain), to pay for unneeded aviation expansion and increased pollution. Read this walking piece of political corruption's press release at: http://www.house.gov/transportation/press.html and news story on it below and at: http://www.tampabayonline.net/news/news1008.htm
European Union Fighting "Aggressive" U.S. On Aircraft Noise: The U.S. aviation cabal, with the help of the U.S.-controlled UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is not giving up its fight to force health-damaging U.S. noise standards down the throats (and ears) of Europeans. Read story below or go to: http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/reuters19991111_2621.html
Senator Torricelli Gets A Noise "Right To Know" Amendment In Aviation Bill I don't know how he got enough votes for it (it was a voice vote), but he actually got a amendment in the Air Transportation "Improvement" Act which called for the analysis of the airport pollution (read the amendment below). However, as Rep. Shuster has decided to fight the Senate demand that the billions in aviation passenger taxes not be removed from congressional control, the bill in its current form may be dead, at least until early next year.
Congressman Upset Over New Logan Runway: Congressman Joe Moakley is
threatening to block the 56-BILLION-dollar appropriation for the
Administration if the agency approves a controversial new runway
for Logan Airport. However, Massachucett's senators are keeping quiet on aircraft noise. Read story below or go to web site: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/316/nation/Kennedy
Aviation News Stories & Info
impasse delays aviation construction money
WASHINGTON (AP) - The collapse of congressional talks on a major
aviation bill could leave some airports scrambling for money to start
House and Senate negotiators this week abandoned efforts to reach
agreement this year on a bill to approve more than $50 billion for the
Federal Aviation Administration in the years 2001-2004.
The breakdown of negotiations left in limbo several years of legislative
efforts to provide the FAA with the money it needs to upgrade safety and
air traffic control systems, build new facilities and improve service to
smaller markets in the coming years.
The fiscal 2000 Transportation Department budget has passed, so general
aviation operations won't be affected. But failure to agree on the FAA bill
will hold up the issuing of $1.95 billion in grants for airport construction
under the Airport Improvement Program.
Larger airports ``have some experience in getting jerked around'' by
Congress and can turn to other funding sources such as bonds or
borrowing to keep projects going, said Todd Hauptli, senior vice
president of the American Association of Airport Executives.
But some smaller airports that don't have access to capital markets could
be in a bind, he said. Congress has had to approve four stopgap bills in
the last year to keep FAA money flowing while it struggles to finish the
bigger package, and ``this stopping and starting is very frustrating for
airports who need a stable, predictable funding stream.''
The Senate on Wednesday evening approved another six-month
extension for the FAA, but House Transportation Committee Chairman
Bud Shuster, R-Pa., has made clear that he opposes this ``Band-Aid
approach'' to the problem.
Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater talked to Shuster on Thursday
and planned to contact Senate leaders to urge them to redouble their
efforts to reach a deal, Slater spokesman Bill Schulz said. ``The secretary
continues to believe there is time yet for an agreement to be reached.''
But that could be tough with Congress likely to finish up its work for the
year next week and both sides openly critical of the course of the talks.
Shuster, a fierce defender of transportation spending, said the Senate
proposal ``simply fails to recognize the growing needs in aviation,'' with
the annual passenger load expected to go from 600 million now to 1
billion in 2007.
He warned that ``worshipping at the altar of fiscal shortsightedness will
carry a high price when our aviation system becomes hopelessly
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., said he
was disappointed at the failure to reach a deal, calling it ``truly unfortunate
that new safety initiatives will be stalled.''
Shuster wants the Aviation Trust Fund, which takes in some $10 billion a
year from airport fees and taxes, taken ``off-budget,'' meaning it could be
used exclusively for aviation needs and not shifted to other general budget
programs. That's opposed both by the administration and by
congressional budget writers who don't want to lose control over how
federal funds are spent.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., put forth a
proposal guaranteeing that all revenues and interest from the trust fund go
first to aviation programs as long as budget writers still had the final say.
Shuster accepted that but also wanted spending guarantees on money
coming from the general budget, about 25 percent of the FAA's total.
That was unacceptable to the Senate.
Also at issue was Shuster's insistence that airports be allowed to double,
to $6, the passenger facility charge, a ticket tax that goes to local
McCain, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, offered
to limit the fee increase to first-class or business tickets, but couldn't go
along with what would be perceived as a new tax on the general public.
Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Amendment No. 1917
At the appropriate place in title IV, insert the following:
SEC. 4XX. RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT AIRPORT POLLUTION.
(a) Findings: Congress finds that--
(1) the serious ground level ozone, noise, water pollution, and solid waste disposal problems
attendant to airport operations require a thorough evaluation of all significant sources of pollution;
(2) the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.)--
(A) requires each State to reduce emissions contributing to ground level ozone problems and
maintain those reductions; and
(B) requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to study, in addition to other
sources, the effects of sporadic, extreme noise (such as jet noise near airports) on public health and
(3) the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) establishes a regulatory and
enforcement program for discharges of wastes into waters;
(4) the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.) establishes primary drinking water
standards and a ground water control program;
(5) the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.) regulates management and disposal of
solid and hazardous waste;
(6) a study of air pollution problems in California--
(A) has determined that airports are significant sources of air pollution; and
(B) has led to the creation of an airport bubble concept; and
(7) the airport bubble concept is an approach that--
(A) treats an airport and the area within a specific radius around the airport as a single source of
pollution that emits a range of pollutants, including air, noise, water, and solid waste; and
(B) seeks, by implementation of specific programs or regulations, to reduce the pollution from each
source within the bubble and thereby reduce the overall pollution in that area.
(b) Purpose: The purpose of this section is to require the Administrator to conduct--
(1) a feasibility study for applying airport bubbles to airports as a method of assessing and reducing,
where appropriate, air, noise, water, and solid waste pollution in and around the airports and
improving overall environmental quality; and
(2) a study of air pollutant emission standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency
for airplane engines to determine whether it is feasible and desirable to strengthen the standards.
(c) Definitions: In this section:
(1) Administrator: The term `Administrator' means the Administrator of the Environmental
elusive in EU-U.S. air noise dispute
BRUSSELS, Nov 11 (Reuters) - The
European Union and the United States
are still far from a compromise in their
bitter dispute over a controversial EU
law to limit aircraft noise, EU officials
said on Thursday.
The European Commission briefed
ambassadors from the 15 EU states on
Thursday evening on the state of negotiations, with neither
side apparently willing to be the first to back down.
"There's been no new advance from the Americans, who
want us to take back our regulation, which we don't want
to do," a Commission official told Reuters. "They've
taken quite an aggressive stance and we're quite
The dispute centres on an EU law due to come into effect
next May which would restrict the use of older aircraft
fitted with noise mufflers, or "hush kits."
The EU has already delayed the measure by a year
following pressure from Washington, which says the
measure would discriminate against U.S. aircraft makers
and has already cost industry more than $2 billion even
before entering into force, by lowering the market value
of older aircraft.
EU authorities believe that hush kits not only fail to
reduce aircraft noise sufficiently but also encourage
continued use of older, high-polluting planes.
Last month, the EU looked set to delay or amend the
rules again after receiving assurances from Washington
that it was prepared to work towards international noise
standards by September 2001 at the latest.
Since then, talks have become bogged down, officials
said, with both sides wanting the other to give way first.
The EU law, designed to cut noise pollution around the
EU's congested airports, is supposed to prevent the use
from April 2002 of hush-kitted aircraft from outside the
EU that are not currently operating in the bloc.
The EU went ahead with unilateral action when talks in the
International Civil Aviation Organisation ground to a halt.
Kennedy, Kerry keep distance as runway
opponents aim at FAA
By Anne E. Kornblut, Globe Staff, 11/12/99
ASHINGTON - Amid the furor over whether to build a new runway at
Logan International Airport, two voices have remained conspicuously
quiet: Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, two Democrats from
Members of both senators' staffs have been briefed by the Federal Aviation
Administration on plans for the 5,000-foot runway, which advocates say would
reduce flight delays at the airport. The staffs have also heard complaints from
neighborhood groups as well as colleagues in the US House, three of whom
are threatening to obstruct an unrelated FAA bill if agency head Jane Garvey
approves the Boston runway.
But the senators have stayed quiet, partly because they are in as difficult a
role as Garvey, observers said yesterday. Both Kennedy and Kerry represent
people throughout the state, including many people unaffected by the very
local question of airport noise.
''They have reasons to be neutral,'' said Peter Blute, former head of
Massachusetts Port Authority and a former US representative. ''If they could
see that opposing the Logan plan would hurt people in Lexington and Concord
and wherever else ... they could see [approving the runway] as the right thing
The position of the two senators was at center stage Wednesday, when
Representative J. Joseph Moakley, the South Boston Democrat who is dean
of the delegation, said he would block a $56 billion FAA bill in Congress if the
FAA moved forward on the runway plan.
That FAA bill appeared to be dead last night, rendering Moakley's threat moot
for now, because of irreconcilable differences among senators from other
states. But Moakley still could try to influence the FAA through other
legislation, and aides said any arm-twisting by Moakley would have been
unlikely unless he had the backing of Kennedy and Kerry.
Massport officials have indicated in recent days that they are confident the
two senators will come around to their point of view: That a new runway will
ease congestion and provide a long-term solution to increasing traffic in the
New England skies. Blute interpreted Kennedy's silence as a tacit sign of
And one member of the Massachusetts delegation, Representative Martin T.
Meehan, a Lowell Democrat, has already expressed his support for the
project. Meehan yesterday declined to back Moakley's threat of action at the
federal level, saying he preferred to ''let the process play itself out.''
That process is in its final stages; the FAA is reviewing a draft of an
environmental impact study, and Garvey is expected to announce her position
''The FAA should make the decision on the merits of the runway at Logan,''
Meehan said. ''I think ultimately, this runway is needed. ... I support the
process going forward, including the input of the people it affects.''
The districts most affected by noise at Logan have so far been the most
vehement objectors to the plan.
While Governor Paul Cellucci and Massport officials are enthusiastic, Mayor
Thomas M. Menino and five US representatives have voiced serious
concerns. In addition to Moakley, Democratic Representatives Michael E.
Capuano of Somerville, Edward J. Markey of Malden, Barney Frank of
Newton, and William Delahunt of Quincy have all registered complaints.
Kerry and Kennedy, however, have made only noncomittal remarks.
Yesterday, in response to Moakley's threat, a Kennedy spokesman said, ''The
FAA, in making its decision, must look at the impacts on the national
environment as well as on the communities surrounding the airport.''
From the Kerry camp, spokeswoman Kelley Benander stayed equally neutral.
''Clearly, Congressman Moakley's position is very important, and the senator
wouldn't make a decision until he had discussed things with Moakley and Jane
Garvey to see where things stand,'' she said.
Both senators say they are waiting until the results of the environmental
studies are complete before making their opinions public.
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