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NBAA Commends House Committee for Passage of Amendment Allowing Business Aviation Back Into Reagan NationalContact: Cassandra Bosco
Washington, DC, June 26, 2003 - The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) commends the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for approving an amendment that is now part of HR 2144, the Aviation Security Technical Corrections and Improvements Act of 2003, designed to reopen Washington, DC's Reagan National Airport (DCA) to non-commercial business aircraft operations, among others. The amendment was proposed by NBAA and offered by Congressman Jerry Moran (R-KS).
The amendment mandates that within 30 days of enactment, the FAA Administrator, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security and U.S. Secret Service Director will develop procedures allowing non-commercial aircraft operations access to DCA when there is compliance with a DHS-approved security program. The airport has been closed to these operations since September 11, 2001.
"Business aviation is among the safest and most secure forms of transportation," stated NBAA Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, Pete West. "The Committee's action exhibits a clear understanding of the security capability of the business community, as well as the valuable role of business aviation in the air transportation system and the economy, nationally and locally," he added.
Prior to September 11, 2001, general aviation activity at Reagan National Airport annually represented nearly one-third of all operations, or about 60,000 movements. Since then, companies relying on business aircraft access to DCA have been shut out from serving this airport. Losses to the airport and surrounding area have exceeded $40 million. Concurrently, these companies have suffered from the inability to use a highly valuable business tool to enhance productivity and efficiency, making the Washington metropolitan area less attractive for business.
The amendment to HR 2144 also would provide the Transportation Security Administration the authority to facilitate necessary background checks, including fingerprinting.
NBAA applauds the bipartisan support of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee membership for backing this significant measure. After a full House vote, the Bill next moves to the Senate for consideration. Early indications are encouraging that the Senate appreciates the economic value of business aviation service to the airport and the surrounding business community.
NBAA represents the aviation interests of more than 7,300 companies that own or operate general aviation aircraft as an aid to the conduct of their business, or are involved with business aviation. NBAA Member Companies earn annual revenues approaching $5 trillion - a number that is about half the gross domestic product - and employ more than 19 million people worldwide. The NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention is the world's largest display of civil aviation products and services.
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