T&I Committee Passes FAA Reauthorization, Adopts Comstock Provisions
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the below statement after the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last night reported favorably the 21st Century AIRR Act, a reform measure that provides a six-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation included a number of Comstock provisions and priorities, including a provision to create the Remote Air Traffic Control Tower Pilot Program. Currently, Leesburg Executive Airport is home to the first installation of this innovative technology, which is undergoing a certification process. Another Comstock provision included adds the Washington, DC metropolitan region to a list of areas from which the FAA Administrator must choose to study health effects of aircraft noise.
“Our aviation infrastructure needs updating and this legislation will help meet the demands of the aviation sector for the 21st Century. Nearly two years ago, I saw first-hand the unveiling of the remote air traffic control tower at the Leesburg Executive Airport – the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. This new and innovative technology is essential to the future of aviation. With Loudoun County being a driving force for technology in the region, it is only fitting that our regional airport leads the way as well. Remote air traffic control towers put reliable, safe technology in the capable hands of our air traffic controllers at smaller airports across the nation. The Leesburg Executive Airport is an economic engine for the region that contributes $78 million to the local economy annually and 634 jobs according to a 2011 study.
“I was also happy that the committee included my provision to have the FAA consider studying the health effects of aircraft noise in the Washington, DC region. Between Reagan National and Dulles International airports, my constituents in Northern Virginia are greatly impacted by aircraft noise. Our office has worked with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to address aircraft noise for our constituents in the past, but inclusion of my amendment, as well as other provisions included in the base text of the bill, will make progress toward reducing aircraft noise for everyday Americans.”