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42 275 cc Calendar No. 121 105 th Congress Report SENATE 1st Session 105 55 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 1998 July 22, 1997--Ordered to be printed Mr. Shelby, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following REPORT [To accompany S. 1048] The Committee on Appropriations reports the bill (S. 1048) making appropriations for the Department of Transportation and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998, and for other purposes, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass. * * * * * OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY * * * * * TRANSPORTATION PLANNING, RESEARCH, AND DEVELOPMENT * * * * * The Committee has reduced the administration's request by $1,608,000. The recommended level includes $300,000 for reimbursement to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics [BTS] for services provided by the Office of Aviation Information. These funds should be tendered to BTS in the first quarter of the fiscal year to assist BTS in defraying the costs of providing these and other services to OST. * * * * * BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION STATISTICS Appropriations, 1997 ...........................($25,000,000) Budget estimate, 1998 ...........................(31,000,000) Committee recommendation ........................... (By transfer, highway trust fund) (25,000,000) The Bureau of Transportation Statistics [BTS] was established in section 6006 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act [ISTEA], to compile, analyze, and make accessible information on the Nation's transportation systems, collect information on intermodal transportation, and enhance the quality and effectiveness of the statistical programs of the Department of Transportation. Financing of BTS operations is authorized as contract authority out of the highway trust fund, by transfer from the Federal-aid highways program, and is subject to the obligations limitation on that program. For fiscal year 1998, a funding level of $31,000,000 is proposed for BTS programs in the administration's NEXTEA reauthorization proposal. The Committee recommends a transfer of $25,000,000 from Federal Highway Administration highway trust funds, for continued BTS program activities at the fiscal year 1997 enacted level. BTS offices include the Director, Statistical Programs and Services, Transportation Studies, and the Office of Aviation Information [OAI]. In addition, effective January 1, 1996, the responsibility to collect motor carrier financial data was transferred to the BTS after the sunset of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The Office of Aviation Information collects and compiles financial and traffic (passenger and cargo) data. This information provides the Government with uniform and comprehensive economic and market data on individual airline operations. This program includes a small field office located in Anchorage, AK, which provides consumers and the Government with airline data related to essential air service and the intra-Alaskan mail rate program. The statistical aviation data compiled by OAI includes: airline passenger traffic statistics, ontime performance data by carrier, financial performance and certification data, fuel purchase and consumption, and other business and consumer directed statistics. These statistics are vitally important to the Federal Government and the aviation industry. In some cases, it is statutorily required that these statistics be used by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation in allocation of trust funds, aviation bilateral negotiations, and other Federal transportation policy decisionmaking. Earlier in this report, the Office of the Secretary is directed to tender BTS $300,000 in the first quarter of 1998 in reimbursement for OAI statistical support. Reauthorization issues .--The Committee encourages the BTS Director to identify potential fiscal year 1998 carryover funds, in order to ensure continued Bureau operations in the event that there is no enacted ISTEA reauthorization before the new fiscal year begins.