The Airport and Airway Trust Fund was established by the Airport and Airway Revenue Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-258) to finance the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) investments in the airport and airway system, such as construction and safety improvements at airports and technological upgrades to the air traffic control system. The act further provided that FAA's operating cost could be financed from the Trust Fund. Since 1990, the Trust Fund has provided about $42 billion for these purposes. The Trust Fund was financed from taxes on domestic and international airline travel, domestic cargo transported by air, and noncommercial aviation fuels until these taxes expired on December 31, 1995. The General Accounting Office (GAO) was requested to provide information on the status of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, including the implications of reinstating or not reinstating the taxes on FAA's budget. Briefly, GAO found the following: Although the taxes that financed the Trust Fund have expired, the money available in the Trust Fund is sufficient to finance its portion of FAA's fiscal year 1996 budget as enacted. With no tax receipts, FAA estimates that the Trust Fund money available at the end of fiscal year 1996 would total $600 million. FAA also estimates that the taxes would have to be reinstated no later than December 1996 to enable the Trust Fund to finance $6.1 billion of FAA's $8.1 billion fiscal year 1997 budget as requested, with the General Fund financing the remainder. For each full month beyond December 1996 that passes with no tax receipts, an additional $550 million would be needed from the General Fund to finance FAA's fiscal year 1997 budget.

  • Record URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Transportation and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1996-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 10 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00722652
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-96-130
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 26 1996 12:00AM