Testimony: Mr. Plavin made the following four points: 1) infrastructure investment at the local government level is not enough; 2) we should carefully define what constitutes capital, because if intangible assets, such as human capital, are included, the definition becomes a funding artifice that is not healthy; 3) the need for capital investment in airport facilities is extraordinary due to high-growing level of activity; and 4) investment in airport facilities is not a high priority, because they are assets of local or State independent public authorities, not the Federal government.
Mr. Plavin believes only physical assets should be defined as capital. He also believes the increased need for airport facilities and the corresponding need for more infrastructure investments are significant. Lastly, he pointed out airport facilities may not be part of a capital budget, because the Federal government does not own these assets.
Questions from the Commissioners: Questions focused primarily on whether there is any bias against investment spending for airports.
Q. What's the source of your Federal dollars? Is it
the airport tax?
Q. Would a capital budget change the funding available
Q. Outlays for the airport investment have fallen
consistently short of authorizations due to budget caps. Do you have a
sense of how much these gaps are?
Q. Is there a bias against capital investment due
to the current Federal budgeting process?
Q. Isn't the anti-investment bias caused by the discretionary
spending cap, because investment spending is struggling against the operating
component of the aviation part of the transportation budget?