FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt personally contacted EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower on Friday morning and briefed him on the impact that funding expiration will have on FAA’s presence at AirVenture.
A continuing resolution by Congress would have temporarily funded the agency while work continues on the FAA Reauthorization bill that is currently in conference committee. Short-term funding extensions have been a regular procedure for the past several years, but the current continuing resolution expires at midnight tonight. According to FAA, the absence of a continuing resolution will cause 4,000 employee furloughs and some program shutdowns as early as midnight tonight (July 22).
Babbitt emphasized that EAA AirVenture safety and operations would not be affected. Air traffic controllers, flight service specialists, safety inspectors and other FAA operational staff will support the event as usual.
Nationwide, air traffic control and NOTAM processing would continue as usual, flight service would remain open, and the aeromedical and aircraft registry branches would continue operation. Affected areas would be those funded in FAA’s Facilities and Equipment; Research, Engineering and Development; or Airport Improvement Program budgets.
The affect on programs and forums in the FAA Aviation Safety Center at AirVenture has yet to be determined.