Increasing Safety and Efficiency through Next Gen Technology Helps Communities, Creates Jobs
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement after the Senate passed the FAA Reauthorization Act by a vote of 93-0. The bill will now be reconciled with the version passed the House of Representatives last year.
“Our aviation system does much more than provide flights for millions of Americans. Aviation provides jobs and fuels our economy. The daunting task our nation’s aviation workers face daily to make air travel possible is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Air travel remains incredibly safe and fast, but the technology guiding our aircraft across the skies is woefully out-of-date. The FAA Reauthorization Act makes the urgent investments needed to bring our air traffic control system into the 21st century, helping to greatly improve the safety and efficiency of air travel in America, while providing for the very latest training for pilots, aircraft maintenance, and air traffic controllers.
“I appreciate the opportunity this bill gives me to show support for Maryland’s flagship airport and the 35 other commercial, municipal, regional and general aviation airports across my state. In Maryland, BWI-Marshall provides nearly 100,000 jobs and $5.1 billion in business revenue for the State. General aviation airports add an additional 6,797 jobs and business revenue in excess of $501 million. This bill gives the green light to hundreds of airports in Maryland and across the nation to advance pressing maintenance, facilities, security and construction projects that will create thousands of jobs in construction, engineering, computer science, software development and beyond.
“I thank Senator Rockefeller for his willingness to incorporate my amendment to enhance the Essential Air Service Program so that it continues to support small commercial airports serving rural communities, like Hagerstown and Western Maryland through 2013.
“On behalf of all business travelers and vacationers who have sat in cramped airplanes on the tarmac for too long or who have been surprised at the ticket counter by the latest airline policy changes, I am proud that this bill also includes a long-awaited Passengers’ Bill of Rights. It encompasses important consumer protections that force airlines to think about the comfort and welfare of their passengers at all times, not simply when it is convenient or easy.
“There are many challenges facing the FAA and air travelers today. This bill sets a clear path towards addressing these challenges.”