Tallahassee, Florida - August 4, 2011 -
An impasse in Washington that resulted in a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) places in jeopardy a planned $50 million runway project at Tallahassee Regional Airport, officials said on Thursday. That shutdown began on July 22, but was indefinitely extended when Congress adjourned earlier this week without resolving the reauthorization of the FAA for the remainder of the Fiscal Year.
The Airport expected to receive $14 million from the FAA this year to begin the extension of the north-south runway and additional funds next year to reconstruct the east-west runway. That funding is in limbo while the FAA offices are closed.
"This loss of funding has a significant impact on the community, preventing the Airport from completing a necessary improvement, adding these funds to the local economy, and impacting 170 construction and professional workers needed for this project," said Sunil Harman, Director of Aviation.
The FAA has operated under a series of short-term extensions since 2007. The latest extension expired July 22, with the Senate and House at odds over proposals related to rural air service subsides and a federal labor rule. Because an extension was not adopted, the Airport's plans to extend the north-south runway and reconstruction of the east-west runway cannot proceed. Work was to have begun this fall and be completed in 2013, but that timeline is now on indefinite hold. The Airport is also evaluating other FAA funded projects to determine if there will be further impacts.
The City of Tallahassee is reaching out to its congressional representatives to determine if any solutions are available to address the impact of the partial shutdown on the Airport projects.