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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 17, 1996

The President has sent fiscal 1997 budget amendments to the Congress to increase funds to the Department of Transportation, (DOT), enabling DOT to make the air transportation of hazardous materials safer.

The amendments would provide another $10.5 million and 130 positions for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These funds would enable the FAA to increase hazardous materials inspections of air carriers, freight forwarders, freight consolidators, and repair stations.

The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) would receive another $3.4 million and 18 positions for RSPA's Hazardous Materials Safety Program. These funds would complement the FAA initiative by: expanding RSPA's inspections of air hazardous materials shippers; expanding hazardous materials research initiatives to focus on air transportation, reactive chemicals, and explosives; developing more training materials focusing on air transportation; and increasing the dissemination of information to both air carriers and shippers. RSPA would inspect shippers -- that is, those who originate the shipments of hazardous materials -- while FAA would inspect all others. RSPA would increase its total annual inspections of shippers of hazardous materials by air from about 500 to 1,500.

To cover the costs, the President proposes to reduce funding for several other DOT programs -- FAA Facilities and Equipment; FAA Research, Engineering, and Development; and the Federal Aid Highway Program.

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