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Thu, Jan 24, 2013

Larsen Tapped As Top House Democrat On Aviation Subcommittee

Prioritizes Creating Pacific Northwest Jobs, Ensuring Safe And Efficient Air Travel System

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) is now the top House Democrat on aviation issues after a vote Tuesday by his colleagues on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Larsen will serve as the ranking minority member on the Aviation Subcommittee.

“The Pacific Northwest is the aerospace capital of the world, and I will work hard to make sure the United States invests in our aviation future,” Larsen (pictured)  said. “Aviation means jobs in Northwest Washington. Anything I can do to support the growth and safety of air travel will bring good jobs to our communities. Just as wings and engines give lift to planes, so too does the aviation industry give lift to the Northwest economy. By investing in critical aviation infrastructure like airports and air traffic control systems, U.S. airlines will be able to support more flights and buy more planes from our manufacturers."

Larson said that in the Pacific Northwest they understand that air travel is a critical link in commerce, particularly for manufacturers who seek to export their products overseas. "As we seek to grow our trade ties with Asia-Pacific nations, American business men and women will need frequent and efficient ways to travel abroad to access new markets," he said. "The growth of aviation depends on a strong safety system that makes sure planes, passengers and crew members are secure. The safety work that FAA employees perform helps make sure that all parts of air travel are safe, from the planes we fly on to the management of the airspace to the training of pilots and flight attendants. I look forward to working with the FAA to make sure they have the resources they need to ensure air safety and adapt to new growth and innovation.

“A healthy aviation industry depends on strong competition and fairness, among both airlines and manufacturers. As airlines consolidate, Congress must evaluate how customers are affected in terms of both service and ticket prices. On the manufacturing side, I maintain my strong belief that American workers will provide the best products when they can compete on an even playing field. Small aerospace manufacturers are indispensable in the construction of aircraft, yet face unique challenges that we should work to lessen. I will work to put small businesses on an even playing field with larger suppliers by making sure the FAA streamlines its testing and safety certification process for new technology and equipment."

Larson also said that he would make the full implementation of NextGen a priority, and promised a bipartisan relationship with Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).

Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, which Larsen represents, includes the Boeing Everett Factory where Boeing manufactures the 747s, 767s, 777s, 787s and the new Air Force KC-46A tankers. Dozens of small- and medium-sized aerospace suppliers are also in the District.

The District also includes Paine Field, seven smaller public airports and numerous private airfields. District residents use Bellingham International Airport and Sea-Tac International Airport.

Airlines for America (A4A) issued a statement welcoming Representative Larsen to the post. "Ranking Member Larsen comes from a state with a strong aviation presence, giving him first-hand knowledge of the important role that the U.S. aviation industry plays in job creation," said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. "Through many years of service on the committee, he has been a leading voice on a host of transportation issues, including promoting the use of alternative fuels, stopping the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme mandates and advocating for the NextGen program to modernize our air traffic control system.  We believe he and Chairman LoBiondo will make a strong leadership team on the Aviation Subcommittee."

FMI: http://larson.house.gov, http://transportation.house.gov, www.airlines.org

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