Airport and Airway Trust Fund

A federal fund that collects passenger ticket taxes and disburses those funds for airport facilities.

The Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) is a fund established by the US Congress to finance the modernization, expansion, and operation of the National Airspace System (NAS). The AATF is financed by a variety of user fees, including passenger facility charges, enplanement fees, and aviation fuel taxes.

ATF disbursements are used to provide funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). There is no legal requirement that AATF funds be used exclusively for the operation of the NAS, but they are generally considered to be restricted by law to such uses.

The AATF has been in existence since 1970 and is administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA uses the funds from the AATF to finance a wide range of activities related to the NAS, including air traffic control, airport development, aerospace research and development, and noise abatement.

In addition to providing funding for the operations of the FAA, in recent years Congress has also used excise taxes collected from users of the NAS to finance surface transportation projects in a number of congressional districts around the country. The most common method in recent years has been to use a portion of these funds to pay for an extension or reauthorization of federal programs funded by previous multi-year surface transportation authorization acts (SAAs).

Airport & Airway Trust Fund (AATF)
Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) – Fact Sheet
Airport and Airway Trust Fund
The Airport and Airway Trust Fund
U.S. GAO – Airport and Airway Trust Fund: Preliminary Observations on Past, Present, and Future