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A4A Celebrates the Passage of FAA Reauthorization

A4A appreciates the tireless work of bipartisan lawmakers to pass this legislation

The following statement is attributable to Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio:

“A4A greatly appreciates the bipartisan group of lawmakers who worked tirelessly for months to pass this legislation that will provide the FAA with much-needed funding, stability and long-term certainty.

“I’m particularly grateful for the leadership of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Sam Graves and Ranking Member Rick Larson, as well as Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Ted Cruz for working collaboratively to push this legislation across the finish line and send it to the president’s desk.

“This bill makes crucial investments in our national airspace infrastructure so that we can continue to operate the safest and most efficient airspace in the world. We never take our safety for granted, and we know it is not by accident—but rather the result of methodical, layered and duplicative systems and a highly-trained workforce.

“This bill works to take care of aging air traffic control towers, outdated equipment and underperforming technology. We are particularly pleased the bill works to address the air traffic controller shortage by dictating that the FAA adjusts their current staffing model and hires the maximum number of controllers. This, combined with the FAA’s efforts with the Collegiate Training Initiative, is a crucial step in the right direction. There is no overnight fix for the shortage, but this opens the air traffic controller pipeline to more capacity. 

“We are also proud that the bill includes language to make air travel more accessible to those with disabilities. Senator Duckworth and Rep. Titus have worked tirelessly with industry on these provisions, and carriers are eager to institute increased training for airline workers and a review of policies to ensure the safe transport of powered wheelchairs and mobility aids.

“Most importantly, this bipartisan bill does not seek to reregulate the airline industry, whose deregulation in 1978 catalyzed the democratization of air travel in America. Prior to deregulation, flying was only for the wealthy. Today, 90% of Americans have flown, half before their 16th birthday. Fierce competition among carriers has led to vast consumer choice, and this reauthorization supports a vibrant, competitive market.

“I urge President Biden to sign this legislation into law as quickly as possible.”


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