Discretionary Spending

Function 400 - Transportation

Eliminate Grants to Large and Medium-Sized Airports

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

Billions of dollars 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2015-2019 2015-2024
Change in Spending                        
  Obligation limitations 0 -1.0 -1.0 -1.0 -1.1 -1.1 -1.1 -1.1 -1.1 -1.2 -4.1 -9.7
  Outlays 0 -0.2 -0.6 -0.8 -1.0 -1.0 -1.1 -1.1 -1.1 -1.1 -2.6 -8.0

Note: This option would take effect in October 2015. Estimates are relative to CBO’s August 2014 baseline projections. Outlays for grants to airports are controlled by limitations on obligations set in annual appropriation acts rather than by contract authority (a mandatory form of budget authority) set in authorizing law. For the above estimates, the contract authority is assumed to equal the obligation limitations that would be in effect under the option.

Under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), the Federal Aviation Administration provides grants to airports to expand runways, improve safety and security, and make other capital investments. In fiscal year 2013, about 30 percent of that money went to airports that are classified, on the basis of the number of passenger boardings, as large and medium-sized. This option would eliminate the AIP’s grants to those airports but would continue to provide grants to smaller airports in amounts that match funding in fiscal year 2013.