S. 2658 would authorize appropriations, through 2017, for activities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other federal programs related to civil aviation. The bill also would increase contract authority for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and reduce direct spending for federal retirement benefits for certain air traffic controllers. Over the 2017-2026 period CBO estimates that implementing S. 2658 would:
Result in discretionary outlays totaling $16.7 billion, subject to the appropriation of the authorized amounts;
Reduce direct spending by $8 million; and
Increase revenues from civil penalties by less than $500,000.
Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
S. 2658 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) on operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and providers of helicopter air ambulance services. The bill also would preempt state and local authority to regulate such systems. Based on information from the FAA, public airport operators, and state aviation agencies, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates on public entities would fall below the annual threshold established in UMRA for intergovernmental mandates ($77 million in 2016, adjusted annually for inflation). The bill would impose additional private-sector mandates on air carriers, owners of certain towers in rural areas, and others. Primarily because some of the mandates would depend on future actions by the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), CBO cannot determine whether the aggregate cost of the mandates on private entities would exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($154 million in 2016, adjusted annually for inflation).