Foley: Trump budget doesn’t include new airport aid
President Donald Trump in his new budget documents once again mentioned the need to rebuild the nation’s runways — but there was no evidence of help from the two most likely sources, said Kevin Foley, executive director and general manager of Des Moines International Airport. Airport officials have been lobbying for an increase in the passenger facility charge, a fee we all pay on tickets, but it remains mired in Congress. Trump did not mention the proposed increase in his budget. The documents also showed no increase in the Airport Improvement Program, which often covers 90 percent of the cost of runway and taxiway construction and planning. Foley said Congress’ decision to pass another continuing resolution rather than a full budget means that his hope to complete the reconstruction of the Des Moines airport’s main runway this year won’t happen. That’s because continuing resolutions delay Federal Aviation Administration grants, causing the airport to miss the construction season. Foley had moved the last phase of that work into 2019 plans due to previous delays, but had hoped he could accelerate the work if a budget were passed. That would have allowed the airport to only disrupt the hours the runway is open this year, rather than in both years.