Summary: H.R.2310 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (12/15/1987)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 100-484)

Airport and Airway Safety and Capacity Expansion Act of 1987 - Title I: Airport and Airway Improvement Act Amendments - Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that any regulation under which the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration limits the number of instrument flight rule takeoffs and landings of aircraft at certain airports should be phased out and eliminated at the earliest practicable date consistent with aviation safety.

Amends the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 to direct the Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary) to: (1) take into account tall structures which reduce safety or airport capacity when reviewing the national plan of integrated airport systems; and (2) address the needs of air cargo operations, and STOL/VSTOL and rotary wind aircraft operations.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Defense to report to the Congress the results of their jointly conducted review regarding the need and utilization of special use airspace in order to determine its impact on civil aviation operations and on the quality of the environment.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1987 through FY 1990 for air navigation facilities. Sets forth minimum obligation levels for certain fiscal years for the purchase and installation of instrument landing systems at primary, reliever, and other airports. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1988 and 1990 for specified research, engineering and development, and demonstration projects.

Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to transfer funds among such projects according to prescribed guidelines. Requires the Secretary to submit a written explanation to specified congressional committees regarding certain proposed transfers. Sets forth expenditure guidelines for airport capacity enhancement. Requires the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to transmit to specified congressional committees a report demonstrating compliance with such guidelines. Sets forth funding limitations for FY 1988 through 1992.

Requires that a minimum of ten percent of funds authorized for airport development be expended with small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Mandates that each State annually survey and compile a list of such business concerns. Outlines the minimum criteria to be established by the Secretary of Transportation for use by State governments in certifying whether a concern qualifies under this Act.

Authorizes the State of Hawaii to use certain airport and airway improvement funds for the acquisition of specified properties of the U.S. General Services Administration Facility Site, or for reimbursement for such property acquisition.

Prescribes formulas for the apportionment of funds (including funding levels for airport capacity enhancement, safety, and security).

Increases from eight percent to ten percent the funds which may be obligated for airport noise compatibility planning. Decreases from 5.5 percent to 2.5 percent the amount set aside for small airports. Decreases from one percent to one-half of one percent funds earmarked for integrated airport system planning.

Cites circumstances under which a State may submit, as sole sponsor, an application for certain airport development projects.

Sets forth the assurances required of airport development project sponsors, including: (1) nondiscrimination provisions; (2) terminal airspace; (3) revenue; (4) land disposal; (5) airport layout plans; (6) contracts for engineering and design services; and (7) disadvantaged business enterprises participation.

Permits the use of: (1) State taxes on aviation fuel to support a State aviation program; (2) airport revenues for noise mitigation purposes; and (3) land disposal funds for certain airport lands, including airport noise compatibility lands. Revises the percentage by which the maximum Federal grant obligation for airport development lands may be increased.

Authorizes the Secretary to increase certain terminal development project costs if such increases are in the public interest. Precludes the cost of decorative landscaping or the installation of sculpture or art works as allowable project costs. Authorizes the Secretary to provide reimbursement through letters of intent for certain advance expenditures for airport development projects. Prescribes guidelines for such letters.

Requires the Secretary to provide grant applicants and recipients notice and opportunity for a hearing before withholding either approval or payment due to noncompliance with the assurances required under this Act. Authorizes judicial review of such withholding action.

Prohibits the Secretary from closing flight service stations or reducing their operation hours unless substitute service will be provided by an automated flight service station with specified equipment.

Changes from mandatory to discretionary the Secretary's authority to provide by grant for the continuation of the Explosive Detection K-9 Team Training Program.

Denies the use of funds provided under such Act for projects using products or services of foreign countries which are listed by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) as not offering reciprocal opportunities for American firms.

Requires the USTR to: (1) determine whether each foreign country denies fair and equitable market opportunities for U.S. products and supplies in procurement, or fair and equitable market opportunities for U.S. bidders, for construction projects that cost more than $500,000 and are funded by the government of such foreign country; and (2) maintain and publish annually a list of countries for which an affirmative determination is made.

Allows an exception to such a denial of funds if the Secretary of Transportation determines: (1) the denial of funds would not be in the public interest; (2) products of the same class or kind are not produced or offered in the United States or in any foreign country not listed by the USTR in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or (3) exclusion of such product or service from the project would increase the cost of the overall project contract by more than 20 percent.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) promulgate regulations to implement a State block grant pilot program according to prescribed guidelines; and (2) report to the Congress the results of the Secretary's review of such pilot program.

Title II: Federal Aviation Act Amendments - Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to provide for the transfer of operational authority from an air carrier terminating or reducing essential small community air service to the successor air carrier. Sets September 30, 1988, as the termination date of the small community air service program. Revises the definition of an "eligible point" to include one which: (1) received scheduled air transportation at any time in the 12 month period ending on October 1, 1988; and (2) was determined by the Secretary to be 45 or more highway miles from the nearest hub airport. Directs the Secretary to determine what is the basic essential air service for each eligible point, after considering the views of certain interested parties. Sets forth transition provisions for the continuation of small community air service. Sets forth compensation and termination guidelines, and guidelines for the establishment of enhanced essential air service. Directs the Secretary to encourage the submission of joint proposals by two or more air carriers for providing small community air service which will maximize service to and from major destinations beyond the hub. Terminates the small community air service program on September 30, 1998.

Directs the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (the Administrator) to complete development of the collision avoidance system known as TCAS-II so that it will be operable under visual and instrument flight rules and will be upgradable to the performance standards applicable to the collision avoidance system known as TCAS-III.

Requires the Administrator to: (1) implement a development and certification schedule resulting within 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act in the completion of TCAS-II certification; (2) report monthly to the Congress on TCAS-II development and certification; (3) require that civil aircraft with a maximum passenger capacity of more than 30 seats have an operational TCAS-II within 30 months after the certification of such system; and (4) promulgate a final rule requiring the installation of operating transponders with automatic altitude reporting capability for aircraft operating in designated terminal airspace where radar service is provided for separation of aircraft.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide access to certain airspace by non-equipped aircraft if such aircraft will not interfere with normal traffic flow.

Mandates that operating transponders be used within 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

Requires the Administrator to complete as soon as possible research, development, and certification of the TCAS-III collision avoidance system. Authorizes appropriations.

Increases from $1,000 to $10,000 the civil penalty for certain safety violations of such Act or of its regulations by persons operating aircraft for the carriage of persons or property for compensation or hire.

Authorizes the FAA Administrator to assess a specified maximum civil penalty for safety rule infractions under the Act. Provides for collection of such penalties through U.S. district courts. Terminates the civil penalty assessment program two years after the date of enactment of this Act. Requires the Administrator to report to the Congress regarding the efficacy of such program. Establishes criminal penalties for unauthorized entry into secured aircraft or airport areas.

Empowers the Administrator to indemnify FAA personnel for claims arising out of the performance of duties.

Amends the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 to direct the Secretary to report the results of an aeronautical study to determine possible adverse impact upon the safe efficient use of navigable airspace by proposed structures or alterations (if the Secretary determines that such structures may constitute an obstruction of navigable airspace). Requires the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration to coordinate administrative actions regarding broadcast applications and the conduct of aeronautical studies relating to broadcast towers.

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979 to make grants available to airport operators and certain local governmental units to soundproof public buildings used primarily for educational or medical purposes in a noise impact area adversely affected by airport noise. Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress the results of a study regarding revised procedures for the preparation and submission of noise compatibility programs.

Expresses the intent of the Congress that the Secretary's authority to make certain noise compatibility program grants shall continue until such programs are fully implemented, but no longer than 18 months after enactment of this Act. Cites conditions under which such grants may be continued.

Requires the Administrator to report to the Congress the results of a study concerning noise abatement proposals under consideration by airport operators and local governments for the purpose of identifying whether any such proposals should be made eligible for Federal assistance.

Requires the Administrator to hire additional air traffic controllers to make such workforce equal to 15,900 on September 30, 1988.

Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations regarding: (1) the use of life preservers, life rafts and flotation devices; (2) improved crashworthiness standards for air carrier aircraft seats; (3) the use of cockpit voice and flight data recorders on commuter aircraft in accordance with National Transportation Safety Board recommendations; and (4) aircraft design and equipment (including fuel tanks and the fuel system). Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding such regulatory oversight of air carrier maintenance and safety-related procedures.

Provides for an inflation adjustment on the collection of certain aviation fees.

Amends the National Driver Register Act of 1982 to authorize airmen's certificate applicants to request the chief State driver licensing official to transmit to the Federal Aviation Administration Administrator information regarding such applicants' motor vehicle driving records.

Prescribes the uses of such information by the Administrator. Precludes access to information that was entered more than three years before the date of request unless it relates to revocations or suspensions which are still in effect on the date of request.

Directs the Secretary to continue the low activity (VFR) Level I air traffic control tower contract program.

States that for purposes of the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982, the municipal airport of Dermott, Arkansas, shall not be denied eligibility for Federal assistance if it is located on specified leased acreage.

Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations to establish criteria for the installation of airport control towers and other navigational aids by December 31, 1988.

Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding the results of a study to develop an overall airport system plan through the year 2010. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) synchronize certain radio navigation systems (Loran-C master transmitters); (2) study the impact on users of such synchronization; (3) study the interoperability of such systems; (4) develop minimum standards to certify such a system as the sole radio navigation system required in an aircraft operating in U.S. airspace; and (5) report to the Congress the results of such studies. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974 to require the National Transportation Safety Board to promulgate reporting requirements for accidents and aviation incidents involving public aircraft (other than military aircraft or that of the Intelligence Agencies). Requires the Board to report to the Congress regarding its findings on public aircraft accidents and incidents.

Prohibits the Federal Aviation Administration from conveying any property interest to any operator of the Atlantic City Airport, Pomona, New Jersey, until certain planning and operating conditions have been met. Exempts safety considerations from such funding limitation.

Authorizes the Secretary to release: (1) the city and county of Denver, Colorado, from the terms in each deed of conveyance under which the United States conveyed property containing portions of Stapleton International Airport; and (2) such airport sponsor from any assurances made for a grant for a certain project at such airport. Cites conditions for the granting of such release.

Authorizes the Secretary to grant releases from certain property conveyence restrictions under which the United States conveyed property to the State of Hawaii for airport purposes. Cites conditions for such release.

Releases the City of Laredo, Texas, from specified property conveyance restrictions applicable to certain nonaviation property of the Laredo International Airport. Grants such release subject to specified conditions.

Designates the Federal Aviation Administration flight service station in Juneau, Alaska, as the "Dave Scheytt Flight Service Station".

Requires the Secretary to study and report to the Congress any air traffic control methods which might be utilized at the Grand Canyon Airport, including the feasibility of radar installation.

Title IV: Extension of Aviation-Related Taxes and Airport and Airway Trust Fund Spending Authority - Airport and Airway Revenue Act of 1987 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend for three years: (1) aviation excise taxes regarding transportation of persons and property; (2) certain transfers into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund; and (3) an excise tax imposed upon certain non-commercial aviation fuels.

Extends from October 1, 1987, to October 1, 1992, certain spending authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

States that no tax will be imposed: (1) on any air transportation by helicopter for the purpose of providing emergency medical services under specified circumstances; or (2) any liquid for use in such helicopters.

Specifies circumstances in which certain aviation-related taxes will be reduced in proportion to appropriations which are significantly below authorizations.