Center for American Progress Action

5 Policy Priorities for the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization

5 Policy Priorities for the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization

The reauthorization of Federal Aviation Administration programs should provide dedicated funding for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes and airports, an increase in the Passenger Facility Charge, and decent wages and benefits for airport service workers.

The commercial aviation industry accounts for roughly 5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), or $1.25 trillion, in 2022. This year, Congress is slated to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding and programs. The FAA bill presents an important opportunity to advance environmental sustainability; improve job quality for thousands of airport service workers; and ensure the efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. aviation system.

Unfortunately, current FAA funding levels and program structures are not designed to realize these environmental, labor, and economic goals. In fiscal year 2022, the FAA spent $6.4 billion on capital projects, grants to airports, and research. The overwhelming majority of these dollars supported basic capital work with only a small share directed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Federal law restricts the fees that airports may charge passengers, preventing capacity-constrained airports from raising the revenues necessary to finance their long-term capital needs. Finally, despite billions in federal support flowing to airports every year, many of the workers that make commercial air travel possible lack adequate pay and benefits.

The above excerpt was originally published in the Center for American Progress. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Kevin DeGood

Director, Infrastructure Policy

Karla Walter

Senior Fellow, Inclusive Economy


A subway train pulls into the Flushing Avenue station in Brooklyn.

Inclusive Economy

We are focused on building an inclusive economy by expanding worker power, investing in families, and advancing a social compact that encourages sustainable and equitable growth.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.