A Follow-Up Message from ACI-NA Small Airports Committee Chairman, Greg Kelly

Small Airport Committee Members:

I wanted to follow-up with you regarding the FAA re-authorization bill and a requirement for the US DOT to establish a working group to arrive at recommendations for federal action to help maintain and improve air service to and from small communities.  As stated in my email last week, the specific language (shown below) can be found in Section 2303 of the bill. 

While there is no specific requirement for any airports to be included in the group, we certainly have an opportunity to participate by applying as individual airports.  To be considered for membership of the working group, please contact US DOT's Dennis DeVany no later than this upcoming Friday, August 5.

This is a great opportunity for us so let’s take full advantage of it.  Please take the time to apply.

Greg

 

SEC. 2303. Working group on improving air service to small communities.

(a) In general.—Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish a working group—

(1) to identify obstacles to attracting and maintaining air transportation service to and from small communities; and

(2) to develop recommendations for maintaining and improving air transportation service to and from small communities.

(b) Outreach.—In carrying out subsection (a), the working group shall consult with—

(1) interested Governors;

(2) representatives of State and local agencies, and other officials and groups, representing rural States and other rural areas;

(3) other representatives of relevant State and local agencies; and

(4) members of the public with experience in aviation safety, pilot training, economic development, and related issues.

(c) Considerations.—In carrying out subsection (a), the working group shall—

(1) consider whether funding for, and the terms of, current or potential new programs are sufficient to help ensure continuation of or improvement to air transportation service to small communities, including the essential air service program and the small community air service development program;

(2) identify initiatives to help support pilot training and aviation safety to maintain air transportation service to small communities;

(3) consider whether Federal funding for airports serving small communities, including airports that have lost air transportation services or had decreased enplanements in recent years, is adequate to ensure that small communities have access to quality, affordable air transportation service;

(4) identify innovative State or local efforts that have established public-private partnerships that are successful in attracting and retaining air transportation service in small communities; and

(5) consider such other issues as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(d) Composition.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The working group shall be facilitated through the Secretary or the Secretary’s designee.

(2) MEMBERSHIP.—Members of the working group shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall include representatives of—

(A) State and local government, including State and local aviation officials;

(B) State Governors;

(C) aviation safety experts;

(D) economic development officials; and

(E) the traveling public from small communities.

(e) Report and recommendations.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report, including—

(1) a summary of the views expressed by the participants in the outreach under subsection (b);

(2) a description of the working group's findings, including the identification of any areas of general consensus among the non-Federal participants in the outreach under subsection (b); and

(3) any recommendations for legislative or regulatory action that would assist in maintaining and improving air transportation service to and from small communities.