WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today joined his Senate colleagues to pass a comprehensive, five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The bill delivers big reforms for air travelers—including protections from being bumped after boarding and from shrinking airline seat sizes—while modernizing airport infrastructure and enhancing aviation security.
The final version of the bill has now cleared both chambers of Congress and is headed to the White House where it is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump.
“This bill puts passengers first, taking on some of the most frustrating issues air travelers encounter when flying. It continues to build off the consumer protection reforms we instituted in the last reauthorization by ensuring that passengers who have boarded their flight aren’t forced off the plane due to airline overbooking and that commercial airline seats do not continue to shrink to the point of absurdity,” Boozman said.
Included within the bill are provisions important to Arkansas, including a reauthorization of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) which help ensure that Arkansas’s rural airports can deliver quality service. It also includes language that will help economic development in central Arkansas by authorizing the relocation of a piece of FAA navigational equipment from its current site.
Boozman praised the efforts of U.S. Representative French Hill (AR-02) to secure the language to relocate the FAA’s Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range cone from its current location between two large parcels of Little Rock Port Authority land, which has long hindered redevelopment efforts in the region.
“The FAA reauthorization will help Arkansas’s large urban areas and smaller rural communities. Along with programs that are vital to our state’s large airports, I am particularly pleased that the bill includes language championed by Congressman Hill that will open new avenues for economic development in central Arkansas. I appreciate his tireless effort to make that a reality,” Boozman said. “For our rural communities, the EAS and SCASDP programs are particularly important to ensuring that Arkansas’s smaller airports have an opportunity to succeed as they are as vital to our continued economic growth as airports in our larger, metropolitan areas.”
Boozman, who serves as co-chairman of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, also highlighted policy improvements that include increased investments in infrastructure, transparency and pilot education designed to help general aviation companies succeed.
“General aviation is important to our state’s economy. It supports jobs for thousands of Arkansans and more than $500 million annually in economic activity in the Natural State. The general aviation portion of this bill will allow those contributions to continue to grow,” Boozman said.
Original article source: https://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/10/boozman-supports-important-consumer-protections-for-air-travelers | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council