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Tue, Feb 12, 2019

Industry Groups Back DeFazio, Larsen FAA Bill

A4A: The Impacts Of Another Government Shutdown On The Aviation Industry Are Not Tolerable

Aviation groups and unions are lining up behind a bill introduced by the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) to protect FAA programs and personnel, and the U.S. aviation industry as a whole, from future shutdowns of the Federal Government.

Another partial shutdown is possible if Congress cannot compromise on an immigration bill that is acceptable to President Donald Trump.

"We appreciate Chairman DeFazio's leadership in identifying real solutions to ensure that the FAA remains fully operational and that the dedicated federal employees who protect and maintain our nation's aviation system are paid for the critical work they do. The impacts of another government shutdown on the aviation industry are not tolerable; the pressures and strains are not sustainable," reads a statement released by Airlines for America.

"U.S. aviation impacts millions of Americans as well as the nation's economy. This industry helps drive $1.5 trillion in economic activity and supports more than 10 million jobs. Each and every day U.S. carriers fly 2.3 million passengers and move 55,000 tons of cargo. We remain committed to working with the Chairman, his colleagues on the committee and all members of Congress to prevent future disruptions to this country's aviation system."

“We are grateful for Chairman DeFazio’s and Chairman Larsen’s leadership and continued commitment to aviation safety. We strongly urge Congress to pass this crucial bill to ensure safe and efficient air transportation for our passengers and cargo shippers,” said ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete. “Flying is the safest mode of transportation in the world thanks to the hardworking professionals who work in a complex, interconnected system. It is unconscionable that these essential aviation professionals were forced to work without pay during the recent shutdown, and we should never let that happen again.

“ALPA stands ready to work with all Members of Congress, congressional committees, and the Administration to ensure the continued safe operation of our national air space without interruption,” DePete said.

“Aviation is among the nation’s most regulated industries, requiring oversight and a host of services from the FAA,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “This bill would help ensure that aviation – a key component in the nation’s economy and transportation system – will avoid a potentially harmful disruption in the event of a government shutdown.”

During the recent partial government shutdown – the longest in the country’s history – money continued to be paid into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, but none could be used to fund the FAA, or pay the agency’s employees. The DeFazio legislation would allow, during times of government shutdowns, for money from the fund to pay for the agency’s continued operations.

The trust fund helps pay for FAA investments in the airport and airway system, such as construction and safety improvements at airports, technological upgrades to the air traffic control system, and FAA operations, including providing air traffic control and conducting safety inspections.

(Source: news releases. Images from file)

FMI: www.airlines.org, www.alpa.org, www.nbaa.org

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