FAA Reauthorization Bill Passes Senate

Today U.S. Senator Murkowski voted for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, legislation that enhances security at airports, improves safety measures for airlines, makes travel easier for passengers, and maintains access for rural communities. The bill also contains an amendment Senator Murkowski co-sponsored which reauthorizes the six Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test sites for five years until 2022, which includes the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The bill passed in a vote of 95-03.

The FAA Reauthorization Act reauthorizes the FAA through 2017, authorizes $3.3 billion this year and $3.7 billion next year to pay for airport infrastructure, such as runways. It also requires a study and recommendations on upgrading and restoring the nation’s airport infrastructure.

Prior to the final vote, Senator Murkowski spoke on the Senate floor in support of passage of the bill:

“In my state of Alaska, for some of us going to the airport is almost as common and matter-of-fact as going to the grocery store. It seems as though we are in and out of our small airports so much because it is how we get around. In a state where 80 percent of our communities are not connected by a road, how do you get around? How do you get to Dillingham? How do you get to Fort Yukon? Well, you can take a boat. You can take a snowmachine in the winter. But the fact is, we fly. We are a flying state. A good airport, a reliable flight schedule, this is the equivalent of having a good road and a good car on the road. I look very critically and very carefully at things such as the FAA Reauthorization Act, because some of what we deal with in this measure is effectively a matter of life safety for many of my constituents.”