MORE FEDERAL FUNDS SOUGHT FOR AIR CARGO

MORE FEDERAL FUNDS SOUGHT FOR AIR CARGO

The Air Freight Association urged Congress to double the level of federal

funds set aside each year for airports handling all-cargo operations.

The association requested that $100 million be allocated for airports that handle more than 100 million pounds of annual landed weight. Legislation in 1987 appropriated a $50 million funding level for these operations.The group said the higher levels are needed to help airports cope with rapidly expanding cargo volumes.

"Such airports have an acute need for federal funding for cargo-specific projects if the cargo growth of the 1980s is to continue through the coming years," Stephen A. Alterman, executive vice president of the group, said in a letter to the House Public Works and Transportation Committee's aviation subcommittee.

The funds would come from the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program. The White House is seeking $1.9 billion to fund the program.

Mr. Alterman said his request wouldn't be a budget-buster because airports that assess a newly authorized passenger departure tax would be required to relinquish a portion of their airport improvement funds. Thus, money would be available to finance the increased cargo entitlements, he said.