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OCR for page 28
12. National Issues with Local Significance general Key Po i nt Proposed or changing federal programs, regulations, and Congressional actions hold the potential for profound financial and operational impacts on airports. While airport governing bodies are focused on issues specific to their facility, it is essential that they have a basic knowledge about pending national legislative and regulatory matters and new programs germane to aviation and airports. Keeping informed on emerging national issues and how they may affect local operations is essential for all policy makers in order for them to govern effectively. D i s cu s s i on T h e Ai r p o r t Some of the significant national issues that hold the potential to have the greatest local impact are: Sustainable funding for airport development and use of federal aviation tax revenues. Many airports depend heavily on federal funding for activities such as airport development, federal operation and maintenance of air traffic control systems and navigational aids, and airport security. The lack of sustainable funding for these types of activities would negatively impact many airports. Local policy makers need to be aware of the current status of the federal authorization for aviation taxes, revenue and programs, as well as the annual appropriation of funding. FAA, TSA, and other federal agency legislation, F I NAN C I AL regulations, and policies. There are often proposed changes to federal law, regulations, and policies relative to airport operations and development. These typically involve safety, security, or environmental requirements that may impact airports. Local policy makers need to be aware of proposed or pending changes that may impact their local airport. FAA management of the Air Traffic Control System and transition toward satellite-based navigation. This "next generation" navigation system is referred to as NextGen and is a transformation of the entire aviation system to a satellite-based system capable of handling future aviation demand. The airport system -- from the runway, to the taxiway, apron, gate, terminal, and access from the air -- will benefit from the NextGen transition. Airports will see increased safety, greater design flexibility, better use of existing capacity, and reduced environmental impact. Local policy makers should become aware of how NextGen is impacting their airport, both currently and in the future. rules 28

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Trends in aircraft development and their impact on airport operations and airport development. Just as aircraft have evolved from the Wright Flyer to jets, industry continues to develop new aircraft types. These may range GENERAL from very light jets to very large wide-bodied aircraft. Airport planners stay abreast of these changes since they impact the existing and future infrastructure needs of airports. Local policy makers need to work with airport management and anticipate how these changes might impact the operational and infrastructure requirements for their airport. Airport staffs typically engage their Congressional representatives in discussions on these and other pertinent issues through correspondence and on-site briefings about how federal legislative or regulatory actions will impact local airports. In addition, many airports rely on organizations such as the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Airports Council International (ACI), National Association of Counties (NACO), and National League of Cities to provide relevant documents, data, and status reports on both legislative and regulatory decisions. This interface provides Congressional representatives and federal agencies with insights and information they need to make appropriate and informed decisions. In THE AIRPORT the end, it is vital that local airport policy makers take every opportunity to engage their Congressional representatives to provide them with information on how the decisions they make on broad national aviation issues will impact their local constituents. App l i c at i o n Remain aware of national issues that impact local airport operations. Attend conference sessions where these issues are discussed. Also, review information and positions of industry groups on these matters. See the AAAE Federal Affairs website: FINANCIAL RULES 29