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Issue / Aviation

The aviation industry plays a critical role in the American economy, and this group recognizes its vast importance. The aviation sector transports 900 million passengers every year and is responsible for $1.5 trillion in total economic activity, nearly 12 million jobs, and represents 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Moreover, the industry’s $83 billion trade surplus is the largest trade surplus within the U.S. economy. Tying this all together is a complex infrastructure network of airports and air traffic control operated by, among many others, millions of highly skilled pilots, mechanics and other technicians, and air traffic controllers. The tremendous collaborative effort of industry and government over the decades, translated into the safest airspace in the world. But, while the U.S. had long been considered the gold standard in aviation technology and safety, America has begun to lose its edge and is falling behind its peers. Today, congestion and delays plague U.S. airports while high-altitude traffic is guided by inefficient and old point-to-point, ground-based radar technology; qualified workers needed to meet the global demands for air travel in the next 30 years have grown increasingly scarce; and new technologies are challenging airline safety and security.

An Update on the Precarious State of the Aviation Industry

COVID-19 has landed the aviation industry in the largest crisis in its history. With the pandemic still ongoing and passengers levels...

First T&I Hearing of 2021 Looks at COVID and Transportation Workers

Among the various ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the nation is the health and safety of transportation workers and passengers,...

TSA, Coast Guard Get Increases in Final FY21 Appropriations Package

Division F of the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2021 provides year-long funding for the Department of Homeland Security,...

Year-End Funding Bill Creates New Requirements for Aircraft Certification

As part of the massive omnibus funding bill passed by Congress yesterday, which contains the second round of COVID relief money,...

Time Running Out for Water Resources, Aviation Certification Bills in This Congress

Several key transportation and infrastructure bills are still unsettled, and time is rapidly running out for this Congress to...

FAA Clears 737 MAX for Return to Service as Congress Debates New Aircraft Certification Reform

The Federal Aviation Administration this week approved the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after 20 months of being...

End-of-FY20 Report on Aviation, Water Trust Funds

The Airport and Airway Trust Fund had a predictably bad year in fiscal 2020 (since Congress shut off tax collections halfway through...

Transit Agencies, Airports Spent Another $2.6 Billion of CARES Act Funding in August

U.S. mass transit providers and airport sponsors collectively spent another $2.6 billion of their $35 billion in special COVID-19 aid...

More Airline Aid Now Won’t Move Without Resolution of Larger COVID Aid Bill

This was an interesting week for the aviation news beat in Congress. The end result is that many U.S. airlines and contractors are...

Additional Airline Payroll Support Promised But Not (Yet) Delivered

U.S. airlines commenced plans to lay off over 30,000 employees yesterday, following the expiration of the no-layoffs clause...

Airlines Close on $13 Billion in CARES Act Loans

The Treasury Department announced this week that seven passenger airlines had closed loans under the authority provided in the March...

Guest Op-Ed: Annoyance and Drones: How Optimizing Flight Paths Can Reduce Potential Noise Impacts

Drones are cost effective and easy to operate. However, the same physical characteristics that make multicopter drones appealing, such...

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