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Entries in NextGen (3)

Thursday
Feb172011

$35 Billion FAA Bill Takes Flight, Wins Senate Passage

Photo Courtesy - Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Thursday night passed the $35 billion Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill by a vote of 87-8 after weeks of debate.

The FAA bill would help streamline the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System -- known as NextGen -- a nationwide project designed to change the country’s system from a ground-based one to a satellite-based one using GPS technology. The program, the 2004 brainchild of former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, would improve aviation safety and capacity, save airlines money and cut down on delays and pollution, according to proponents.

In addition, Democrats have touted the FAA measure as the “first jobs bill” of the new Congress, saying it would save or create an estimated 280,000 jobs.

The eight senators opposing the bill Thursday were Republicans Mike Crapo, Jim DeMint, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Risch, Pat Toomey and David Vitter.

Five senators did not vote: Chris Coons, Bob Corker, John Kerry, John McCain and Bernie Sanders.

The bill now heads to the House.

The key issue preventing Senate passage of the bipartisan measure had been a dispute over adding more long-distance flights to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. West Coast senators wanted to see more long-distance slots, but lawmakers from states neighboring the nation’s capital opposed that idea on the grounds that it would hurt home-state airports like Dulles International in Virginia and Baltimore-Washington International in Maryland.

But this week, senators managed to reach a compromise that would add up to 16 daily round-trip flights between Reagan and western states.

The timing of Thursday night's final passage was important because senators were eager to pass it before the Presidents’ Day recess. Upon their return to work on Feb. 28, lawmakers will have only five days to extend federal funding to prevent a government shutdown on March 4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Senate Set to Revamp Nation's Air Travel

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - After weeks of debate, the Senate appears to be set to pass a $35 billion Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill.

The key issue that had prevented passage of the bipartisan measure was a dispute over adding more long-distance flights to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. West Coast senators wanted to see more long-distance slots, but lawmakers from states neighboring the nation’s capital opposed that idea on the grounds that it would hurt their home-state airports like Dulles International in Virginia and Baltimore-Washington International in Maryland.

Senators, however, managed to reach a compromise that would add up to 16 daily round-trip flights between Reagan and western states.

The bill would help streamline the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System – known as NextGen – a nationwide project designed to change the country’s system from ground-based to a satellite-based one that uses GPS technology. The program, the 2004 brainchild of former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, would improve aviation safety and capacity, save airlines money and cut down on delays and pollution, according to proponents.

In addition, Democrats have touted the FAA measure as the “first jobs bill” of the new Congress, saying it would save or create an estimated 280,000 jobs.

Once it emerges from the upper chamber of Congress, the bill will still have to be passed by the House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb082011

Bill To Revamp Air Travel System Stuck in Congress

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A lot of Americans would like to see improvements to the nation’s air travel system. Unfortunately for them, waiting for Congress to do something about it could take a while -- in fact, it already has. The $35 billion Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill has been languishing for years.

“We’ve been trying for years -- years! -- to get this bill passed,” gasped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the chamber floor Tuesday.

The bill would help streamline the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System – known as NextGen – a nationwide project designed to change the country’s system from a ground-based one to a satellite-based one using GPS technology. The program, the 2004 brainchild of former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, would improve aviation safety and capacity, save airlines money, and cut down on delays and pollution, according to proponents.

According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the delays and cancellations that drive travelers crazy could be scaled back.

But the bill has been stuck for years. And this year the Senate has already spent weeks debating it, with nothing to show for it other than a slew of amendments. Democrats have even touted it as the “first jobs bill” of the new Congress, saying it would save or create an estimated 280,000 jobs. Still, no progress.

“We’re not going to be playing around with this for another year,” Reid warned on the Senate floor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio