U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan (D—N.C.) on Monday, Feb. 6, voted for a bipartisan agreement that authorizes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration for the next four years. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which passed the Senate by a vote of 75-20, authorizes $15.9 billion annually for federal aviation programs. It now goes to the President’s desk.
“In the last five years, Congress has funded the FAA with 23 separate short-term extensions,” said Hagan. “Today, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass legislation that significantly improves federal aviation programs and provides certainty to the millions of workers across the country—including more than 88,000 in North Carolina—whose jobs depend on the aviation industry. While this bill is not perfect, it does demonstrate that Democrats and Republicans are capable of putting political posturing aside and advancing legislation important to the American people. I will continue working across party lines on initiatives that get people in North Carolina and across the country back to work.”
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act will provide stable funding for FAA programs, enhance safety, expand access to air service in rural areas and help modernize the national air system. For example, the bill will accelerate the deployment of NextGen, the FAA’s air traffic control system that uses satellite-based global positioning system capabilities. This new technology will reduce delays, increase safety and make flying quieter, cleaner and more fuel-efficient.
The bill also allocates $13.4 billion over four years for the Airport Improvement Program. The AIP provided more than $1.2 billion in critical planning and development grants to North Carolina’s public airports between FY2007 and FY2011.