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SEC. 274. INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF FAA FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS;
ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION REVIEW COMMISSION.
(a) INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT-
(1) INITIATION- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, theAdministrator shall contract with an entity independent of the Administration and theDepartment of Transportation to conduct a complete independent assessment of the financialrequirements of the Administration through the year 2002.
(2) ASSESSMENT CRITERIA- The Administrator shall provide to the independent entityestimates of the financial requirements of the Administration for the period described inparagraph
(1), using as a base the fiscal year 1997 appropriation levels established by Congress.The independent assessment shall be based on an objective analysis of agency fundingneeds.
(3) CERTAIN FACTORS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT- The independent assessment shall takeinto account all relevant factors,
(A) anticipated air traffic forecasts;
(B) other workload measures;
(C) estimated productivity gains, if any, which contribute to budgetary requirements;
(D) the need for programs; and
(E) the need to provide for continued improvements in all facets of aviation safety, alongwith operational improvements in air traffic control.
(4) COST ALLOCATION- The independent assessment shall also assess the costs to theAdministration occasioned by the provision of services to each segment of the aviationsystem.
(5) DEADLINE- The independent assessment shall be completed no later than 90 days afterthe contract is awarded, and shall be submitted to the Commission established undersubsection
(b), the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Committee on Commerce, Science,and Transportation and the Committee on Finance of the Senate, and the Committee onTransportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House ofRepresentatives.
(b) NATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION REVIEW COMMISSION-
(1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a commission to be known as the National CivilAviation Review Commission (hereinafter in this section referred to as the `Commission').
(2) MEMBERSHIP- The Commission shall consist of 21 members to be appointed as follows:
(A) 13 members to be appointed by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary ofthe Treasury, from among individuals who have expertise in the aviation industry and whoare able, collectively, to represent a balanced view of the issues important to generalaviation, major air carriers, air cargo carriers, regional air carriers, businessaviation, airports, aircraft manufacturers, the financial community, aviation industryworkers, and airline passengers. At least one member appointed under this subparagraphshall have detailed knowledge of the congressional budgetary process.
(B) Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(C) Two members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.
(D) Two members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.
(E) Two members appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.
(3) TASK FORCES- The Commission shall establish an aviation funding task force and anaviation safety task force to carry out the responsibilities of the Commission under thissubsection.
(4) FIRST MEETING- The Commission may conduct its first meeting as soon as a majorityof the members of the Commission are appointed.
(5) HEARINGS AND CONSULTATION-
(A) HEARINGS- The Commission shall take such testimony and solicit and receive suchcomments from the public and other interested parties as it considers appropriate, shallconduct 2 public hearings after affording adequate notice to the public thereof, and mayconduct such additional hearings as may be necessary.
(B) CONSULTATION- The Commission shall consult on a regular and frequent basis with theSecretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Committee on Commerce, Science, andTransportation and the Committee on Finance of the Senate, and the Committee onTransportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House ofRepresentatives.
(C) FACA NOT TO APPLY- The Commission shall not be considered an advisory committee forpurposes of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
(6) DUTIES OF AVIATION FUNDING TASK FORCE-
(A) REPORT TO SECRETARY-
(i) IN GENERAL- The aviation funding task force established pursuant to paragraph (3)shall submit a report setting forth a comprehensive analysis of the Administration'sbudgetary requirements through fiscal year 2002, based upon the independent assessmentunder subsection (a), that analyzes alternative financing and funding means for meetingthe needs of the aviation system through the year 2002. The task force shall submit apreliminary report of that analysis to the Secretary not later than 6 months after theindependent assessment is completed under subsection (a). The Secretary shall providecomments on the preliminary report to the task force within 30 days after receiving thereport. The task force shall issue a final report of such comprehensive analysis within 30days after receiving the Secretary's comments on its preliminary report.
(ii) CONTENTS- The report submitted by the aviation funding task force under clause(i)--
(I) shall consider the independent assessment under subsection (a);
(II) shall consider estimated cost savings, if any, resulting from the procurement andpersonnel reforms included in this Act or in sections 347 and 348 of Public Law 104-50,and additional financial initiatives;
(III) shall include specific recommendations to Congress on how the Administration canreduce costs, raise additional revenue for the support of agency operations, andaccelerate modernization efforts; and
(IV) shall include a draft bill containing the changes in law necessary to implementits recommendations.
(B) RECOMMENDATIONS- The aviation funding task force shall make such recommendationsunder subparagraph
(A)(ii)(III) as the task force deems appropriate. Those recommendations may include--
(i) proposals for off-budget treatment of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund;
(ii) alternative financing and funding proposals, including linked financing proposals;
(iii) modifications to existing levels of Airport and Airways Trust Fund receipts andtaxes for each type of tax;
(iv) establishment of a cost-based user fee system based on, but not limited to,criteria under subparagraph (F) and methods to ensure that costs are borne by users on afair and equitable basis;
(v) methods to ensure that funds collected from the aviation community are able to meetthe needs of the agency;
(vi) methods to ensure that funds collected from the aviation community and passengersare used to support the aviation system;
(vii) means of meeting the airport infrastructure needs for large, medium, and smallairports; and
(viii) any other matter the task force deems appropriate to address the funding andneeds of the Administration and the aviation system.
(C) ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS- The aviation funding task force report may also makerecommendations concerning--
(i) means of improving productivity by expanding and accelerating the use of automationand other technology;
(ii) means of contracting out services consistent with this Act, other applicable law,and safety and national defense needs;
(iii) methods to accelerate air traffic control modernization and improvements inaviation safety and safety services;
(iv) the elimination of unneeded programs; and
(v) a limited innovative program based on funding mechanisms such as loan guarantees,financial partnerships with for-profit private sector entities, government-sponsoredenterprises, and revolving loan funds, as a means of funding specific facilities andequipment projects, and to provide limited additional funding alternatives for airportcapacity development.
(D) IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS- For each recommendation contained in theaviation funding task force's report, the report shall include a full analysis andassessment of the impact implementation of the recommendation would have on--
(ii) administrative costs;
(iii) the congressional budget process;
(iv) the economics of the industry (including the proportionate share of all users);
(v) the ability of the Administration to utilize the sums collected; and
(vi) the funding needs of the Administration.
(E) TRUST FUND TAX RECOMMENDATIONS- If the task force's report includes arecommendation that the existing Airport and Airways Trust Fund tax structure be modified,the report shall--
(i) state the specific rates for each group affected by the proposed modifications;
(ii) consider the impact such modifications shall have on specific users and the public(including passengers); and
(iii) state the basis for the recommendations.
(F) FEE SYSTEM RECOMMENDATIONS- If the task force's report includes a recommendationthat a fee system be established, including an air traffic control performance-based userfee system, the report shall consider--
(i) the impact such a recommendation would have on passengers, air fares (includinglow-fare, high frequency service), service, and competition;
(ii) existing contributions provided by individual air carriers toward funding theAdministration and the air traffic control system through contributions to the Airport andAirways Trust Fund;
(iii) continuing the promotion of fair and competitive practices;
(iv) the unique circumstances associated with interisland air carrier service in Hawaiiand rural air service in Alaska;
(v) the impact such a recommendation would have on service to small communities;
(vi) the impact such a recommendation would have on services provided by regional aircarriers;
(vii) alternative methodologies for calculating fees so as to achieve a fair andreasonable distribution of costs of service among users;
(viii) the usefulness of phased-in approaches to implementing such a financing system;
(ix) means of assuring the provision of general fund contributions, as appropriate,toward the support of the Administration; and
(x) the provision of incentives to encourage greater efficiency in the provision of airtraffic services by the Administration and greater efficiency in the use of air trafficservices by aircraft operators.
(7) DUTIES OF AVIATION SAFETY TASK FORCE-
(A) REPORT TO ADMINISTRATOR- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment ofthis Act, the aviation safety task force established pursuant to paragraph (3) shallsubmit to the Administrator a report setting forth a comprehensive analysis of aviationsafety in the United States and emerging trends in the safety of particular sectors of theaviation industry.
(B) CONTENTS- The report to be submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include anassessment of--
(i) the adequacy of staffing and training resources for safety personnel of theAdministration, including safety inspectors;
(ii) the Administration's processes for ensuring the public safety from fraudulentparts in civil aviation and the extent to which use of suspected unapproved parts requiresadditional oversight or enforcement action; and
(iii) the ability of the Administration to anticipate changes in the aviation industryand to develop policies and actions to ensure the highest level of aviation safety in the21st century.
(8) ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS AND STAFF- The Administration may give the Commissionappropriate access to relevant documents and personnel of the Administration, and theAdministrator shall make available, consistent with the authority to withhold commercialand other proprietary information under section 552 of title 5, United States Code(commonly known as the `Freedom of Information Act'), cost data associated with theacquisition and operation of air traffic service systems. Any member of the Commission whoreceives commercial or other proprietary data from the Administrator shall be subject tothe provisions of section 1905 of title 18, United States Code, pertaining to unauthorizeddisclosure of such information.
(9) TRAVEL AND PER DIEM- Each member of the Commission shall be paid actual travelexpenses, and per diem in lieu of subsistence expenses when away from his or her usualplace of residence, in accordance with section 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
(10) DETAIL OF PERSONNEL FROM THE ADMINISTRATION- The Administrator shall makeavailable to the Commission such staff, information, and administrative services andassistance as may reasonably be required to enable the Commission to carry out itsresponsibilities under this subsection.
(11) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated such sumsas may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection.
(c) REPORTS TO CONGRESS-
(1) REPORT BY THE SECRETARY BASED ON FINAL REPORT OF AVIATION FUNDING TASK FORCE-
(A) CONSIDERATION OF TASK FORCE'S PRELIMINARY REPORT- Not later than 30 days afterreceiving the preliminary report of the aviation funding task force, the Secretary, inconsultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall furnish comments on the report tothe task force.
(B) REPORT TO CONGRESS- Not later than 30 days after receiving the final report of theaviation funding task force, and in no event more than 1 year after the date of theenactment of this Act, the Secretary, after consulting the Secretary of the Treasury,shall transmit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and theCommittee on Finance of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructureand the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives. Such report shall bebased upon the final report of the task force and shall contain the Secretary'srecommendations for funding the needs of the aviation system through the year 2002.
(C) CONTENTS- The Secretary shall include in the report to Congress under subparagraph(B)--
(i) a copy of the final report of the task force; and
(ii) a draft bill containing the changes in law necessary to implement the Secretary'srecommendations.
(D) PUBLICATION- The Secretary shall cause a copy of the report to be printed in theFederal Register upon its transmittal to Congress under subparagraph (B).
(2) REPORT BY THE ADMINISTRATOR BASED ON FINAL REPORT OF AVIATION SAFETY TASK FORCE-Not later than 30 days after receiving the report of the aviation safety task force, theAdministrator shall transmit the report to Congress, together with the Administrator'srecommendations for improving aviation safety in the United States.
(d) GAO AUDIT OF COST ALLOCATION- The Comptroller General shall conduct an assessmentof the manner in which costs for air traffic control services are allocated between theAdministration and the Department of Defense. The Comptroller General shall report theresults of the assessment, together with any recommendations the Comptroller General mayhave for reallocation of costs and for opportunities to increase the efficiency of airtraffic control services provided by the Administration and by the Department of Defense,to the Commission, the Administrator, the Secretary of Defense, the Committee onTransportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and the Committee onCommerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 180 days after the dateof the enactment of this Act.
(e) GAO ASSESSMENT- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of thisAct, the Comptroller General shall transmit to the Commission and Congress an independentassessment of airport development needs.
SEC. 275. PROCEDURE FOR CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN FUNDING PROPOSALS.
(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 481 is amended by adding at the end the following:
`Sec. 48111. Funding proposals
`(a) INTRODUCTION IN THE SENATE- Within 15 days (not counting any day on which theSenate is not in session) after a funding proposal is submitted to the Senate by theSecretary of Transportation under section 274(c) of the Air Traffic Management SystemPerformance Improvement Act of 1996, an implementing bill with respect to such fundingproposal shall be introduced in the Senate by the majority leader of the Senate, forhimself and the minority leader of the Senate, or by Members of the Senate designated bythe majority leader and minority leader of the Senate.
`(b) CONSIDERATION IN THE SENATE- An implementing bill introduced in the Senate undersubsection (a) shall be referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, andTransportation. The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation shall report thebill with its recommendations within 60 days following the date of introduction of thebill. Upon the reporting of the bill by the Committee on Commerce, Science, andTransportation, the reported bill shall be referred sequentially to the Committee onFinance for a period of 60 legislative days.
`(c) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
`(1) IMPLEMENTING BILL- The term `implementing bill' means only a bill of the Senatewhich is introduced as provided in subsection (a) with respect to one or more FederalAviation Administration funding proposals which contain changes in existing laws or newstatutory authority required to implement such funding proposal or proposals.
`(2) FUNDING PROPOSAL- The term `funding proposal' means a proposal to provide interimor permanent funding for operations of the Federal Aviation Administration.
`(d) RULES OF THE SENATE- The provisions of this section are enacted--
`(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and as such they are deemed apart of the rules of the Senate and they supersede other rules only to the extent thatthey are inconsistent therewith; and
`(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of the Senate to change therules (so far as relating to the procedure of the Senate) at any time, in the same mannerand to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of the Senate.'.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections for chapter 481 is amended by adding atthe end thereof the following:
`48111. Funding proposals.'.