Aviation Groups Voice Support for Infrastructure Bill

The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) contains a great deal of guidance on what to say when lining up for takeoff. [Courtesy: Deposit Photos]

Industry trade groups are celebrating Friday’s passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a news release Sunday, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) said the act contains important measures championed by NBAA, including support of the aviation community’s efforts to attract and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.

NBAA president Ed Bolen

NBAA president Ed Bolen called the bill a “victory for America’s transportation sector and a recognition of NBAA’s successful advocacy efforts.”

“By authorizing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish a program for public service announcements, we will expand awareness of transportation career opportunities while working to increase the diversity of the transportation workforce,” Bolen added.

Business aviation’s success depends on our next generation of professionals, and we must look to all communities for future leaders.”

As the bill was passed Friday, Timothy Obitts, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) president and CEO, issued a statement on behalf of his organization.

“The National Air Transportation Association applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for its passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, an investment in our nation’s aviation infrastructure that comes at a critical time for general aviation airports and the communities they serve.”

About the Bill

The bill, one of the largest infrastructure plans in decades, passed as the House voted 228-206. It’ll now go to the president for his signature. Under the bill passed by the Senate in August, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act injects $550 billion in new spending for America’s infrastructure, including investments to modernize the country’s transportation systems.

If the bill is signed, the FAA will receive $5 billion over the next five years to improve general aviation towers and ATC facilities. The law would also support the growing development of the advanced air mobility (AAM) sector, and the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program.

NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts NATA

NBAA has been a vocal supporter of the AAM sector, most recently hosting a panel with some industry stakeholders during the BACE in Las Vegas during October.

On Sunday, Bolen also praised NBAA members for driving support for the bill at grassroots level.

“Our members answered the call to support this effort by contacting members of Congress and underscoring the importance of growing and diversifying the transportation workforce,” he said.

Earlier this year, NBAA also backed the Promoting Service in Transportation Act, which was consolidated into this act to establish and administer a transportation workforce outreach program and support diversity efforts.

As the aviation industry looks to adopt more sustainable measures, Obitts also said that “the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help us make these aspirational goals a reality as we continue providing essential services across the nation.”

Michael Wildes holds a master’s degree in Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, both from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Previously, he worked at the university’s flight department as a Flight Check Airman, Assistant Training Manager, and Quality Assurance Mentor. He holds MEI, CFI & CFII ratings. Follow Michael on Twitter @Captainwildes.

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