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Fall/Winter 2011 Consulting A Publication of the Airport Consultants Council The Future of FAA Airports An interview with K at e L a n g 2 0 1 1 a c c a v i a t i o n a w a r d o f e x c e ll e n c e R e c i p i e n t EDITOR’S NOTE Catherine (Kate) M. Lang, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Associate Administrator for Airports, is the recipient of the 2011 ACC Aviation Award of Excellence. She is being recognized for her skillful advocacy of a safe and efficient aviation system during some of the most challenging economic dynamics in history. It also acknowledges her consistent respect for and openness to the opinions of private sector technical experts, and her long-term commitment to the aviation industry. ACC had the opportunity to interview Kate on the state of the FAA and the aviation industry. ACC: It appears that federal fund- ing support for aviation and other programs may be on the decline in the next few years. In this new era of austerity, where do you see the future of the federal aviation program going and how will the FAA Airports Office respond and accomplish your goals? Lang: When I started in the business, AIP was at $800 million, and it quickly jumped to $1.6 billion. While the program was substantially smaller than it is now, we lived within the available resources and made it work effectively. Now, this country is discussing what it can really afford. If you ask whether we can do with less of the grant program, I think the answer is yes, we can. But like anything else, when you’re in a period of austerity, you have to be very selective and mindful of where you make the cuts. Our success as an agency in the future will depend upon how well we can affect where those cuts will take place. Take a look at entitlement programs. Right now, with the ongoing discussion about reducing the grant program, there’s this huge effort to protect the entitlement programs at all costs. I ask, can we really afford that? See LANG on page 20 page 4 page 6 page 12 Special Feature: The Road Not Taken Consultant perspective: Arrested — Runway Safety Areas are Needed… ACC Events Photo Review Summer WOrkshop Series

Fall/Winter 2011 AirportConsulting

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