Washington, DC – Today, the Alliance for Aviation Across America applauded the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684, which invests over $550 billion in funding to modernize our nation’s aging transportation system and infrastructure. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 228–206 on Friday and is expected to be signed by the President in the coming days.
The bill includes substantial funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which supports grants for the planning and development of public-use airports, including $500 million for general aviation airports, as well as $5 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over the next five years for upgrades to air traffic control towers and other facilities.
“We welcome the passage of this important legislation, which would invest in our nation’s infrastructure, including our network of general aviation airports, and help to ensure that businesses and communities around the nation have access to the tools, resources, and services they need to thrive and grow,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
The bill also includes $5 million for each fiscal year from 2022 to 2026 for public service campaigns designed to promote a broad array of transportation careers, including pilots, mechanics, and engineers. It also includes support for the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program, by authorizing $100 million annually for cities to conduct demonstrations of “smart city technologies” to improve transportation efficiency and potentially support the development of advanced air mobility (AAM).
This includes vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, which are largely electric and can operate complete trips in close proximity to where they begin, thus improving mobility, and alleviating noise and surface congestion and traffic.
“This legislation would also support investments made by the general aviation industry in important areas of growth, such as sustainability, emerging technology and our future workforce. That’s why local and national leaders, including chambers of commerce, elected officials, and businesses have all applauded the importance of these industry priorities, which will support jobs and economic growth at a critical time,” continued Shilad.
General aviation and local airports support more than 1.1 million American jobs, an economic impact of $247 billion per year, and numerous critical services, such as disaster response, law enforcement, medical transport, search and rescue, crop protection, powerline maintenance, and passenger and goods transport.
Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit coalition of over 7,000 individuals, businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interests of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.