Congress last week approved a three-month extension of aviation and airport programs that will allow airports to continue to collect the taxes that they use to pay for capital improvements.

The measure, which still must be signed by President Obama, would extend the programs through Dec. 31.

The extension would give Congress until after the elections to decide on whether to approve a new multi-year authorization or another stopgap measure.

The House and Senate each approved the three-month extension unanimously, with the Senate acting on Thursday on the House bill.

The programs are currently operating under the fourteenth extension of a law that expired three years ago. That extension is set to expire at the end of this month.

The House and Senate have been unable to approve a multi-year authorization because of disagreements over labor laws for FedEx workers, flight limits at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., and the cap on passenger facilities charges.

The PFC dispute could greatly affect bond issuers because PFC revenues are often used to repay airport debt.

The House has already approved a multi-year bill that would raise to $7 from $4.50 the limit on PFCs that airports could charge for passenger landings. The Senate version that was approved in March included no PFC cap increase.

Airport groups have argued that a PFC cap increase would generate much-needed revenues to use for construction and rehabilitation. But airlines have argued against raising the fees, which are attached to passenger airfare.

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