Short-Term FAA Budgets Could Hamstring Houston Airports

Aerospace executives are warning that the lack of permanent funding for the Federal Aviation Administration threatens Houston's future as an air transportation hub.

airplane wingCongress last passed a long-term funding bill for the FAA in 2007. The agency has been surviving since then on a series of temporary extensions.

Executives at Honeywell Aerospace say this pattern is making it impossible to deploy the next generation of air traffic control systems and cockpit technology. Vice president for government relations Chris Benich says that can only wind up hurting travelers.

“In a city like Houston, where the airports are operating at pretty close to capacity, we can’t continue to add new flights, new airplanes, with more seats in order to address the demand. So over time, the amount of airplanes will be capped the seats will become more scarce, and ticket prices are likely to go up.”

The latest short-term FAA budget squeaked through Congress earlier this month, just in time to avoid a shut down. It expires in January.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...