Apr 27, 2018 | Infrastructure, Press Releases

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which provides a 5-year reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and includes important reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that prioritize pre-disaster mitigation and promote efficiency.

Congressman Higgins offered an amendment to H.R. 4 that creates a 10-year pilot program, allowing Stage 2 aircraft to conduct operations in medium-hub or non-hub airports. The program would provide rural airports with the ability to conduct new commercial and non-commercial activities that would otherwise be prohibited. The amendment passed.

Congressman Higgins also cosponsored three amendments offered by Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) that were included in the final bill. Those amendments streamline operations at FEMA, provide state and local governments with greater flexibility, and protect disaster victims.

Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:

“I supported greater efforts to privatize components of the FAA, which would have created cost-saving efficiencies. However, this was a good bill. It provides necessary infrastructure funding for America’s airports and offers long-term stability for both industry employees and travelers.

This legislation also includes much-needed reforms that would cut bureaucratic red tape at FEMA and prioritize pre-disaster mitigation efforts in Louisiana. Ensuring a capable and quick response to disasters and strengthening disaster infrastructure will save taxpayers money and make our communities more resilient.

Although there was some objection from my Democratic colleagues, my amendment passed with bi-partisan support. The amendment supports rural airports in Louisiana as they grow and expand. That means more jobs and economic growth in South Louisiana.”

Patrick Norris, Chairman of the Iberia Parish Airport Authority, commended Congressman Higgins for his support of rural airports in Louisiana:

“On behalf of the Iberia Parish Airport Authority, I want to express our gratitude to Congressman Higgins and his staff for their efforts in securing the Noise Waiver language in the FAA Reauthorization Bill before Congress. The Airport Authority identified an opportunity to continue our efforts to grow the economic development opportunities of the Airport and region and the noise waiver will open the Airport to new international markets that have not been open before. We again thank Congressman Higgins for his leadership and partnering with the Airport Authority on this high priority legislative issue.”

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