Rep. Young Votes to Pass Long-term FAA Reauthorization
February 3, 2012
With Alaskan Congressman Don Young’s support, the House of Representatives passed a long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill today. After 23 short-term extensions, H.R. 658 will set policies for America’s aviation system, authorize infrastructure projects and provide much needed long-term stability for the FAA. This bill passed the House with a vote of 248-169 and will extend the current FAA authorization for four years.
“While this bill is long overdue, I am pleased that we were able to finally pass a long-term extension today,” said Rep. Young. “Whether it’s for transportation purposes, search and rescue missions or connecting us with the lower 48 - aviation plays an essential role in the lives of all Alaskans. I am especially proud of the fact that Essential Air Service in Alaska will continue to be fully funded and I want to thank Chairman Mica for working with me on this crucial issue.”
Key provisions in this bill beneficial to Alaska:
- Fought to ensure that Essential Air Service (EAS) is maintained in Alaska, because EAS is a vital lifeline that connects 44 Alaskan communities.
- Successfully included language to ensure that all Alaskan communities have the ability to receive compressed oxygen for use in medical clinics and construction. The compressed oxygen regulations that went into effect in 2009 failed to take into account the inability to reach our remote communities by ground transportation. The one-size-fits-all approach to this new regulation was threatening the livelihoods and health of Alaskans without taking into account the unique make-up of our state.
- Airport Improvement Program is funded at $3.35 billion per year, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for airport improvements projects.
- Authorizes continued funding for the Alaska Aviation Safety Project to aid in their mission to reduce aircraft related fatalities in Alaska. The authorization directs the FAA to provide such sums as may be necessary for the completion of the Alaska Aviation Safety Project with respect to the 3-dimensional mapping of Alaska's main aviation corridors. This project helps to increase general aviation safety by enhancing pilot situational awareness through the incorporation of advanced remote sensing and aviation technologies.
- Funds the national deployment of NextGen, the satellite air traffic control system based off the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology pioneered in Alaska by the Capstone program.
- Directs the FAA to implement a system to improve volcanic ash avoidance options for aircraft, including warning and notification systems.
- Directs the development of a plan for expanded use of Unmanned Aerial Systems in the Arctic for research and commercial purposes