October 03, 2018

Manchin Votes To Pass FAA Reauthorization Helping West Virginia Airports & Disaster Response

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today voted to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The bill includes a five-year reauthorization of the FAA; a three-year reauthorization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at $7.9 billion; a four-year reauthorization of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); and the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, which reforms and reauthorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  The bill also includes language Senator Manchin authored to give higher priority for certain types of projects for mountaintop airports.

“Today I voted to pass this important reauthorization bill to ensure that rural airports in West Virginia receive funding they need to continue operations in the Mountain State,” Senator Manchin said. “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight to make sure that the funding levels in this FAA bill will benefit West Virginia airports. West Virginia airports rely on this important funding, which is why I support important programs to the state like the Essential Air Service and Small Community Air Service Development programs. And it’s why I included language in this year’s bill to level the playing field for airports constrained by mountainous terrain and other difficult topography.  Rural airports across the state provide an important service to West Virginians and West Virginia businesses by connecting them to the rest of the country, helping businesses export their products, and increasing tourism to our great state.”

The FAA reauthorization will help West Virginia by:

  • Reauthorizing the Essential Air Service Program and the Small Community Air Service Development Program
  • Maintaining Airport Improvement Program (AIP) levels at $3.35 billion per year through 2023
  • Authorizing a new infrastructure program for small and medium airports outside of metropolitan areas financed through the general fund. This program, which is modeled on the additional funding provided by the Appropriations Committee in FY18 and FY19 and supported by Senator Manchin in his work on the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, will receive $1.02 billion in FY19 and increase each year to $1.11 billion by FY23. Grants will be capped at a federal share of 80%.
  • Expanding the Pilot’s Bill of Rights by strengthening legal protections for pilots, improving the Notices for Airmen (NOTAM) program, and other provisions.
  • Including language authored by Senator Manchin to make it easier for mountaintop airports like those in West Virginia to compete for grants for mass grading and other structural support.
  • Requiring FEMA to put more emphasis on pre-disaster planning by requiring it to devote part of its overall funding relief to early mitigation activities.