Infrastructure Bill Draws Praise for Aviation Support

 - November 8, 2021, 11:33 AM

Business aviation groups praised House passage of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, saying it provides important support for airports and other key priorities, including workforce and advanced air mobility initiatives. The 228-206 House vote on Friday night clears the bill to head to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature. The Senate passed the legislation, which includes $550 billion in new spending, in August.

National Air Transportation Association president and CEO Timothy Obitts said the legislation is “an investment in our nation’s aviation infrastructure that comes at a critical time for general aviation airports and the communities they serve.”

The legislation provides $25 billion in new airport funding over the next five years, including $500 million a year for general aviation airports. It further authorizes the Department of Transportation to establish a program for public service announcements that foster interest in transportation careers. Obitts called the measures “important steps toward modernizing our physical infrastructure and strengthening our skilled workforce.”

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen added that with the workforce measure, “We will expand awareness of transportation career opportunities while working to increase the diversity of the transportation workforce. Business aviation’s success depends on our next generation of professionals, and we must look to all communities for future leaders.”

The measure authorizes $5 million a year through fiscal 2026 for the workforce initiative.

In addition, the bill provides for a Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation program that authorizes $100 million annually for grants to help cities conduct “smart city technologies” demonstrations that include supporting advanced air mobility initiatives.

“AAM will revolutionize air transportation in the coming years. We must act now to understand the legislative, regulatory, and infrastructure needs of AAM to realize the potential of this transformative industry,” said Bolen.