FAA Stimulus Recipients Got Low Priority Ratings

Publication: Wall Street Journal

Author: Christopher Conkey

10/07/2009 - More than $270 million in stimulus grants awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration have gone to projects that scored below the agency's own threshold for weeding out low-priority proposals, according to data being released Wednesday by a government watchdog group.

The FAA this year has directed about $272 million in stimulus funds -- or roughly 25% of the $1.1 billion provided to the agency for airport work -- to projects that scored poorly on the agency's national priority rating system, which the FAA uses to grade potential projects. The FAA typically steers grants to projects scoring above 41 on a scale from 1 to 100. For stimulus grants, the FAA raised the threshold to 62. Among the factors it uses to assign a rating are the size of the airport as well as the type of project and its impacts on system capacity.

Data being released Wednesday by Subsidyscope, an initiative of the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts, show that the FAA has awarded about $272 million to projects below the 62 threshold.

Read the full article FAA Stimulus Recipients Got Low Priority Ratings on the Wall Street Journal's Web site.

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