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Airport Magazine

FAA's Fornarotto Addresses SMS, State Block Grants, Budget Cuts

top story photo Christa Fornarotto, FAA associate administrator for airports, fielded questions for more than an hour May 20 from delegates at AAAE's Annual Conference and Exposition, who raised issues ranging from safety management systems to the state block grant program.

The association's annual conference and exposition is being held May 19-22 in Reno, Nev., hosted by the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.

Noting the impact of budget cuts plus funds that Congress authorized FAA to transfer from the AIP account to cover other agency programs this year, Fornarotto predicted that 2014 will be worse due to continued spending reductions. "For one year you can adjust, but it's not a sustainable position," she said. "The airport community was dealt a tough hand but we will pull together."

Fornarotto said her office, among other initiatives, will focus on safety this year, by going back to the basics of Part 139 to ensure that "everything is being done that needs to be done" at airports. FAA will engage the airport community in this effort in ways that will include producing webinars, she said.

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