49 USC 47115 - Discretionary fund

(a) Existence and Amounts in Fund.— 
The Secretary of Transportation has a discretionary fund. The fund consists of
(1) amounts subject to apportionment for a fiscal year that are not apportioned under section 47114 (c)(e) of this title; and
(2) 12.5 percent of amounts not apportioned under section 47114 of this title because of section 47114 (f).
(b) Availability of Amounts.— 
Subject to subsection (c) of this section and section 47117 (e) of this title, the fund is available for making grants for any purpose for which amounts are made available under section 48103 of this title that the Secretary considers most appropriate to carry out this subchapter.

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(c) Minimum Percentage for Primary and Reliever Airports.— 
At least 75 percent of the amount in the fund and distributed by the Secretary in a fiscal year shall be used for making grants
(1) to preserve and enhance capacity, safety, and security at primary and reliever airports; and
(2) to carry out airport noise compatibility planning and programs at primary and reliever airports.
(d) Considerations.— 

(1) For capacity enhancement projects.— 
In selecting a project for a grant to preserve and improve capacity funded in whole or in part from the fund, the Secretary shall consider
(A) the effect that the project will have on overall national transportation system capacity;
(B) the benefit and cost of the project, including, in the case of a project at a reliever airport, the number of operations projected to be diverted from a primary airport to the reliever airport as a result of the project, as well as the cost savings projected to be realized by users of the local airport system;
(C) the financial commitment from non-United States Government sources to preserve or improve airport capacity;
(D) the airport improvement priorities of the States to the extent such priorities are not in conflict with subparagraphs (A) and (B);
(E) the projected growth in the number of passengers or aircraft that will be using the airport at which the project will be carried out; and

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(F) the ability of the project to foster United States competitiveness in securing global air cargo activity at a United States airport.
(2) For all projects.— 
In selecting a project for a grant under this section, the Secretary shall consider among other factors whether
(A) funding has been provided for all other projects qualifying for funding during the fiscal year under this chapter that have attained a higher score under the numerical priority system employed by the Secretary in administering the fund; and
(B) the sponsor will be able to commence the work identified in the project application in the fiscal year in which the grant is made or within 6 months after the grant is made, whichever is later.
(e) Waiving Percentage Requirement.— 
If the Secretary decides the Secretary cannot comply with the percentage requirement of subsection (c) of this section in a fiscal year because there are insufficient qualified grant applications to meet that percentage, the amount the Secretary determines will not be distributed as required by subsection (c) is available for obligation during the fiscal year without regard to the requirement.
(f) Consideration of Diversion of Revenues in Awarding Discretionary Grants.— 

(1) General rule.— 
Subject to paragraph (2), in deciding whether or not to distribute funds to an airport from the discretionary funds established by subsection (a) of this section and section 47116 of this title, the Secretary shall consider as a factor militating against the distribution of such funds to the airport the fact that the airport is using revenues generated by the airport or by local taxes on aviation fuel for purposes other than capital or operating costs of the airport or the local airports system or other local facilities which are owned or operated by the owner or operator of the airport and directly and substantially related to the actual air transportation of passengers or property.
(2) Required finding.— 
Paragraph (1) shall apply only when the Secretary finds that the amount of revenues used by the airport for purposes other than capital or operating costs in the airports fiscal year preceding the date of the application for discretionary funds exceeds the amount of such revenues in the airports first fiscal year ending after August 23, 1994, adjusted by the Secretary for changes in the Consumer Price Index of All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.
(g) Minimum Amount To Be Credited.— 

(1) General rule.— 
In a fiscal year, there shall be credited to the fund, out of amounts made available under section 48103 of this title, an amount that is at least equal to the sum of
(A) $148,000,000; plus
(B) the total amount required from the fund to carry out in the fiscal year letters of intent issued before January 1, 1996, under section 47110 (e) of this title or the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982.

The amount credited is exclusive of amounts that have been apportioned in a prior fiscal year under section 47114 of this title and that remain available for obligation.

(2) Reduction of apportionments.— 
In a fiscal year in which the amount credited under subsection (a) is less than the minimum amount to be credited under paragraph (1), the total amount calculated under paragraph (3) shall be reduced by an amount that, when credited to the fund, together with the amount credited under subsection (a), equals such minimum amount.
(3) Amount of reduction.— 
For a fiscal year, the total amount available to make a reduction to carry out paragraph (2) is the total of the amounts determined under sections 47114 (c)(1)(A), 47114 (c)(2), 47114 (d), and 47117 (e) of this title. Each amount shall be reduced by an equal percentage to achieve the reduction.
(h) Priority for Letters of Intent.— 
In making grants in a fiscal year with funds made available under this section, the Secretary shall fulfill intentions to obligate under section 47110 (e).
(i) Considerations for Project Under Expanded Security Eligibility.— 
In order to assure that funding under this subchapter is provided to the greatest needs, the Secretary, in selecting a project described in section 47102 (3)(J)1 for a grant, shall consider the non-federal[2] resources available to sponsor, the use of such non-federal[2] resources, and the degree to which the sponsor is providing increased funding for the project.
(j) Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau.— 
For fiscal years 2004 through 2007, the sponsors of airports located in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau shall be eligible for grants under this section and section 47116.
[1] See References in Text note below.
[2] So in original. Probably should be “non-Federal”.