TO THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges your support for H.R. 302, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018. The U.S. economy relies on a safe, secure, and efficient aviation system to create jobs, improve economic development, catalyze global competitiveness, improve quality of life, and maintain national security. This long-term FAA authorization bill would streamline the continuation of critical programs, while incentivizing long-term investment in the aviation sector, and it would address several important issues beyond the aviation realm as well. Specifically, the Chamber supports provisions that would:
- Streamline the FAA certification process to enhance U.S. global competitiveness.
- Focus on aviation workforce development to supplement private sector efforts.
- Expand and simplify the airport privatization program to encourage more private investment.
- Establish a framework for unmanned aircraft systems regulation.
- Reauthorize the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Provide supplemental appropriations for disaster relief in the Carolinas region as well as additional funding for pre-disaster mitigation and resilience activities to help business and community leaders think ahead to secure future investments in infrastructure.
- Direct TSA to reform and streamline the security screening of airport and airline employees.
- Establish an air cargo security division to carry out and engage with stakeholders regarding the implementation of TSA’s air cargo security programs and codifying the Customs and Border Protection’s Air Cargo Advanced Screening program.
- Instruct TSA to develop standards and a process to allow qualified non-federal entities to certify explosive detection canine assets.
- Improve sharing cybersecurity information and coordinating cybersecurity in ports.
- Include the ‘‘Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018,’’ which would consolidate the tools of multiple agencies to create the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) to promote economic development and advance the U.S. national interest in developing countries.
The Chamber is disappointed the final bill does not include a provision of the House-passed bill that would have clarified federal preemption of a trucking statute in the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA). This clarification would have restored Congress’ intent when it sought national uniformity for motor carriers in the transportation of property, rather than a 50-state patchwork that would inhibit the movement of freight throughout the U.S. The Chamber will continue to work to address this important issue.
The Chamber is also concerned about provisions of the bill that call for the Department of Transportation to consider re-regulating specific aspects of airline business practices.
Congress rightly deregulated the aviation industry in 1978 and the free market result has allowed for a record number of passengers to utilize our aviation network.
The Chamber urges swift passage of this important legislation.
Neil L. Bradley