Holly Woodruff Lyons, Deputy General Counsel, House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Aviation, discussed committee efforts regarding the FAA Reauthorization Bill and modernizing infrastructure at the 15th Annual Legislative Summit, an event that brings more than 100 travel professionals to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to share opinions on key issues.
Lyons told attendees that that main priority of the FAA Reauthorization bill was air traffic control reform, explaining that the committee is up against many barriers such as budget constraints, reductions in force, lack of order in Congress and the fact that there has been no stand-alone travel appropriations bill since 2006. However, she also said that it was possible to get the bill off the floor by August – a committee goal.
When talking about NextGen, she said that the committee hasn’t seen real game-changing results. She said that there have been pockets of success but overall no real progress on this.
Lyons stated that Chairman Shuster feels the only way for this to be a success is for this to be out of government control. Chairman Shuster has proposed the creation of a not-for-profit that would be responsible for air traffic control. Lyons outlined several aspects of the non-for-profit which included, being independent of the federal government, the creation of a nominated corporate board and all monies and revenue would be reinvested back into the governing entity to name a few of the parameters.
Stay tuned for a post in the near future on GBTA’s position on this issue.