Summary: H.R.3479 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/23/2002)

Title I: National Aviation Capacity Expansion - National Aviation Capacity Expansion Act of 2002 - (Sec. 103) Declares that if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) makes, or at any time after December 5, 2001 has made, a grant to the city of Chicago, Illinois, with the approval of the State of Illinois for planning or construction of runway improvements at O'Hare International Airport, the State of Illinois (including any instrumentality or political subdivision) is prohibited from exercising certain authority to prevent: (1) further consideration by the FAA of the O'Hare airport layout plan (capacity enhancement project for the redesign of the airport's runway configuration) contained in the agreement reached by the State and Chicago on December 5, 2001; (2) construction of projects approved by the FAA in such plan; or (3) application by Chicago for Federal airport improvement program funding for projects approved by the FAA and shown on the plan.

Authorizes Chicago to apply directly to the FAA without the approval of Illinois for Federal airport improvement program funding for planning and construction of a project under the O'Hare airport layout plan.

Prohibits the Administrator of the FAA, as provided in the December 5, 2001, agreement, from considering an airport layout plan submitted by Chicago that includes the runway redesign plan unless the plan includes public roadway access through the existing western boundary of O'Hare to passenger terminal and parking facilities located inside the boundary of O'Hare and reasonably accessible to such western access. Subjects approval of the western public roadway access to the condition that the cost of construction be paid for from airport revenues consistent with FAA revenue use requirements.

Subjects to certain noise mitigation requirements any approval by the Administrator of an airport layout plan that includes the runway redesign plan.

Requires the Administrator to report to specified congressional committees if the runway redesign plan has not received all Federal, State, and local permits and approvals necessary to begin construction by December 31, 2004.

(Sec. 104) Requires Illinois to prepare an implementation plan under the Clean Air Act in accordance with the State's customary practices for accounting for and regulating emissions associated with activity at commercial service airports. Prohibits the FAA Administrator from approving the runway redesign plan unless he or she determines that the construction and operation will include, to the maximum extent feasible, the best management practices then reasonably available to and used by operators of commercial service airports to mitigate emissions regulated under the implementation plan.

(Sec. 105) Requires the withholding of all airport grant funds for O'Hare (other than grants involving national security and safety) until January 1, 2026, unless specified conditions with respect to operations at Merrill C. Meigs Field have been met.

(Sec. 107) Expresses the sense of Congress that the Office of Environment and Energy of the FAA should be funded to carry out noise mitigation programming and quiet aircraft technology research and development at specified levels for FY 2004 and 2005.

Title II: Airport Streamlining Approval Process - Airport Streamlining Approval Process Act of 2002 - (Sec. 203) Amends Federal transportation law to direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take action to encourage the construction of airport capacity enhancement projects at congested airports.

(Sec. 204) Directs the Secretary of Transportation to develop and implement a coordinated review process for such projects, which shall provide that all environmental reviews, analyses, opinions, permits, licenses, and approvals that must be issued or made by a Federal agency or airport sponsor for such a project will be conducted concurrently in cooperation with all Federal and State agencies with jurisdiction over environmental-related matters.

Requires: (1) the Secretary to determine the reasonable alternatives to an airport capacity enhancement project at a congested airport; and (2) any other participating Federal or State agency to consider only those alternatives the Secretary has determined are reasonable.

Authorizes the Secretary, at the request of an airport sponsor for a congested airport, to approve a restriction on use of a runway to be constructed at the airport to minimize potentially significant adverse noise impacts from the runway only if the restriction is necessary and the most appropriate and cost-effective measure (taking into consideration associated environmental trade-offs) to mitigate such impacts and expedite runway construction.

Authorizes the Secretary, in specified circumstances, to allow an airport sponsor carrying out such a project to make payments, out of airport revenues (including local taxes on aviation fuel), for measures to mitigate the environmental impacts of the project, including aircraft noise.

Permits the FAA Administrator to accept funds from an airport sponsor to hire additional staff or obtain the services of consultants in order to facilitate the timely processing, review, and completion of environmental activities associated with an airport development project.

Authorizes appropriations to facilitate timely processing, review, and completion of environmental activities associated with airport capacity enhancement projects at congested airports.

Permits a person disclosing a substantial interest in an order issued by the Secretary or the head of any other pertinent Federal agency to apply for judicial review of the order. Prescribes procedures and requirements for such an appeal.

(Sec. 205) Repeals the requirement that the Secretary approve a project grant application only if the chief executive officer of the State in which the project will be located certifies that there is reasonable assurance that the project will be located, designed, constructed, and operated in compliance with applicable air and water quality standards.

Revises the approval criteria without the requirement of an environmental impact statement for an airport development project that does not involve the location of an airport or runway, or a major runway extension, at an existing airport. Allows such a project without an environmental impact statement if completing the project would allow airport operations involving aircraft complying with the noise standards prescribed for "stage 3" aircraft (currently "stage 2" aircraft).

(Sec. 206) Authorizes the Secretary to incur obligations to make grants to an operator of a congested airport and a specified unit of local government to carry out a project to mitigate noise in the area surrounding the airport, if the project is included as a commitment in an FFA record of decision for an airport capacity enhancement project, even if that airport has not met certain regulatory requirements.