Earlier this afternoon, Congress adjourned without passing a clean FAA reauthorization extension. And because of its inaction, states and airports won't be able to work on their construction projects and thousands of people around the country will have to go without a paycheck.
This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world, and I'm tremendously disappointed by today’s events.
The current FAA reauthorization expires at midnight tonight. And without an extension, airports across the country will also be forced to halt important construction projects and other airport activities. The FAA will be unable to provide roughly $2.5 billion for airport projects in all 50 states that could put thousands of people to work in good paying jobs. For example:
- Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida is still waiting on funding to rehabilitate a major taxiway.
- Houghton County Memorial Airport in Hancock, Michigan is still waiting on funding to modify their terminal building and discourage wildlife from entering the active airfield.
- Richmond International Airport in Richmond, Virginia is still waiting on funding to proceed with construction of a new apron for a terminal concourse.
- Lubbock International Airport in Lubbock, Texas is still waiting on funding to begin the third phase of a critical runway rehabilitation.
- Adams Field in Little Rock, Arkansas is still waiting on funding to begin the rehabilitation of taxiway lighting, construction of a Runway Safety Area, and the installation of a Precision Approach Path Indicator that helps pilots land safely.
In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration will be forced to furlough nearly 4,000 employees--men and women across the country who perform valuable work for our nation's aviation system and our economy. These are real people with families who do not deserve to be put out of work during these tough economic times.
Every day, thousands of people across our country show up to work to make our aviation system as safe, efficient, and reliable as possible. I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts.
There is no excuse for Congress failing to pass this FAA extension. It’s crucial to our economy, it’s crucial to tens of thousands of middle-class families who will see paychecks stop, and it’s crucial to our transportation system.
We cannot afford to wait--Congress needs to come back to Washington, finish its work and pass a clean extension of the FAA Bill.