SHAHEEN: LONG-TERM FAA EXTENSION IS GOOD FOR ECONOMY

Four-year extension would be a boon for jobs and infrastructure

February 06, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today her intention to vote in favor of the four-year extension of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) scheduled for a vote in the Senate tonight.  The FAA has been operating under short-term extensions since 2007, and Shaheen has repeatedly called for a long-term extension to ease uncertainty for workers and provide the agency with the direction it needs to engage in long-term planning.

The bill has already passed the House. If passed by the Senate, it would go to the President to be signed into law.

“The passage of this legislation would be a tremendous win for jobs and infrastructure,” Shaheen said.  “I’ve heard from many in our state about the need for a long-term FAA authorization, and I’m hopeful that Congress will finally come together tonight to pass one.  A long-term extension would help us create jobs and upgrade infrastructure across the country, while also helping to improve airline passenger safety and modernize our air traffic control system.”

In addition to creating construction jobs for the many airport infrastructure projects the legislation is designed to support, the bill will also aid companies that manufacture aviation products, like Elbit Systems of America.  Elbit officials say a loan program in the bill that would help airlines pay for technology upgrades could create up to 50 jobs at the company’s Merrimack facility.

Without a long-term bill, the FAA would be forced to continue operating under short-term extensions and a repeated threat of shutdown.  This past summer, a partial FAA shutdown threatened a critical runway construction project at Nashua Municipal Airport and left 42 FAA employees at the airport furloughed without pay.  Several other projects were placed on hold, including asbestos abatement, building upgrades, and mechanical system work.  Shaheen visited the airport in August to join city officials in urging Congress to reach an agreement on a long-term authorization.

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