This week improving our nation’s aviation and water infrastructure were the focus of conversation on Capitol Hill.
With a new aviation reform bill, the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, proposed to Congress, the nation’s aviation needs are receiving some attention that’s long overdue. According to the bill’s author, Rep. Bill Shuster, two-thirds of our 20 largest airport hubs experience delays, and the economic costs of congestion and delays, including the impacts on passengers, top $30 billion per year. The AIRR Act would reauthorize the nation’s civil aviation programs, including air traffic control and infrastructure funding. Of most interest to ASCE, the bill increases authorized funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to $3.8 billion by 2022. This would be the first funding growth for the AIP in over a decade, which is much needed to improve the country’s “D” grade for aviation.
On a different front, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), John Duncan (R-TN) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Water Investment Trust Fund Act, which would provide funding to replace, repair and rehabilitate critical wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. ASCE will be working with member of Congress to advance this legislation.
As our infrastructure ages, we need to continue to invest in it. Therefore, it is critical that elected leaders at the federal, state and local levels continue to prioritize investment into the backbone of our economy.