WASHINGTON - U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement upon congressional leaders’ announcement of a short-term FAA extension agreement late Wednesday:
“While we would have preferred a more comprehensive, long-term measure, we are grateful that leaders of both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee have agreed on a package that will authorize the FAA until September 2017. The travel industry heartily approves of many of the provisions included in this extension, particularly those that address aviation security and expanding TSA PreCheck.
“This legislation includes several elements of aviation security bills that we strongly support. We welcome provisions to formally assess TSA staffing models and redeploy TSA personnel where needed, and mandating comprehensive security assessments at all overseas airports with direct service to the U.S. These enhancements will streamline and improve the U.S. traveler experience while making all of us safer.
“The language expanding TSA PreCheck gives the travel industry the most cause to celebrate. TSA PreCheck is a rare ‘win-win’ program that both bolsters security and vastly improves the airport screening experience for flyers. By partnering with the private sector to streamline and expand PreCheck enrollment, TSA can include even more travelers in the program, and make flying a more secure and enjoyable experience for all.
“Above all, though, we stress that Congress must find a way to deal with our aviation system’s crumbling, outdated infrastructure. If America is to remain an attractive, welcoming destination for all travelers, the next FAA reauthorization must include long-term fixes for our airports.
“We thank Sens. Thune and Nelson and Reps. Shuster and DeFazio for their leadership on these issues, and hope that the next Congress and administration may finally fully deal with our nation’s infrastructure challenges.”
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit www.ustravel.org.