2021 Legislative & Regulatory Priorities
PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE DBE PROGRAM
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) includes a small business development program known as the ACDBE program. The DBE program incorporates a 10% aspirational goal for certified DBEs/ACDBEs to participate in airport procurement, capital improvement and concessions contracts. The DBE program is regulated and administered by the USDOT and FAA. Airports that receive federal AIP grants establish fact-supported DBE/ACDBE participation goals and use their “best efforts” to achieve them. The ACDBE program effectively ensures Congress’s intent for equity and inclusion in transportation and infrastructure projects. AMAC urges Congress to preserve this vital program.
AMEND PFC STATUTE TO INCLUDE MWDBE PARTICIPATION GOALS
AMAC supports the need for increased funding for airport infrastructure and wants to work with airports and Congress to ensure our nation's infrastructure is first in class. Two tools to assist airport infrastructure development are the AIP and PFC programs. Unfortunately, PFC financing is eclipsing AIP grants as the primary funding source for airport capital projects. DBEs are losing contracting opportunities because participation goal provisions were not incorporated in the original PFC statute when first enacted in 1990. With the increasing use of PFCs and PFC-only funded projects, we advocate for the PFC statute to incorporate MWDBE participation goal setting to achieve Congress's intent to prevent barriers to the participation of small businesses in airport contracting because of race or gender bias.
CONFORM DOT DBE SIZE STANDARD TO SBA STANDARD
There is an arbitrary rule in current law that mandates a different size test only for USDOT DBE programs. For example, a construction firm whose gross receipts are $36.4 million or less is “small,” defined by the SBA. However, because of the current law anomaly, the gross receipts of a USDOT DBE-certified construction firm may not exceed $22.4 million is approximately 35% less than the SBA standard. There is no legislative history that justifies this difference. Congressional action is needed to address this matter by complying with the DBE size standard for programs authorized by the FAA bill to the SBA rules.