- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
July 03, 2007Provisions in the House FAA Reauthorization Bill that recently cleared committee would jumpstart air traffic control modernization efforts as well as boost vital facility upgrades, AIA President and CEO John Douglass said. The bill, HR 2882, which passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week with bipartisan support, also would support ongoing aviation industry efforts to lessen the environmental impacts of air travel. Douglass said these provisions should be seen as priorities as the bill makes its way to a floor vote, as well as future conference discussions with the Senate. "Improvements to the system are key to ensuring air travel remains efficient and safe as we respond to ever-increasing passenger loads," Douglass said. "This investment is also important as aviation continues to be one of the largest drivers of our national economy." The committee-approved bill includes ample funding for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen. This technologically advanced initiative will modernize air traffic control, safety, and virtually every other aspect of air travel. In an equally important provision, the bill assigns accountability to the seven federal agencies in the NextGen program to ensure it is progressing as it should. AIA Civil Aviation Vice President Michael Romanowski told the House Aviation Subcommittee in May that failure to implement NextGen could cost the economy $50 billion per year by 2025. The bill also includes investment in improvements in facilities and equipment associated with the aviation system, which is needed to keep up with increased capacity and to respond to changes associated with NextGen.