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Lipinski Authors Airline Bill Provisions to Protect Passengers, Taxpayers, and the Environment

 
Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Chicagoland's only member of the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, helped the Committee approve H.R. 915, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009.  This legislation includes a number of provisions written by Congressman Lipinski to protect consumers, taxpayers, and the environment.  This action clears the way for the bill to be considered by the full House of Representatives.
 
"This long overdue bill will ensure that America's air transportation system remains the finest and safest in the world," stated Rep. Lipinski. "I am proud to have been able to add five provisions that will protect passengers, taxpayers, and the environment." 

H.R. 915 provides $16.2 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), $13.4 billion for FAA Facilities and Equipment (F&E), $38.9 billion for FAA Operations, and $1.35 billion for Research, Engineering, and Development (RE&D) over four years. 

The bill also contains several key initiatives authored by Rep. Lipinski. These provisions will:

  • Hold Airlines Accountable for Delayed Bags - Since most passengers are now charged a fee to check a bag, they have a right to expect better performance from airlines. This provision requires the GAO to examine baggage delays and make recommendations for mandatory compensation for passengers.
  • Require Airports to Consider the Implementation of Recycling Programs - This provision says all airports must examine the implementation of a recycling program and clarifies that recycling plans are eligible for federal funding.
  • Establish a Federal Research Center to Develop Alternative Jet Fuel - FAA Transportation Centers of Excellence provide research through partnerships between the FAA, universities, industry and state and local governments. This provision creates a Center to develop jet fuel from alternative sources, such as natural gas, biomass, ethanol, butanol, and hydrogen.
  • Fund Research to Eliminate the Use of Lead in Aviation Gas - Piston aircraft still use leaded aviation gasoline, or avgas, which contains four times the lead found in the already-banned leaded automotive fuel.This provision authorizes $3 million to develop, test, and approve an economical, unleaded avgas.
  • Require An Open, Competitive Process for Airport Projects - Requires that the QBS process be used for awarding airport project contracts to make sure airline passenger taxes are spent efficiently.

"As an Aviation Subcommittee member and someone who flies almost weekly, I am very aware of critical aviation issues, especially the concerns of passengers," continued Lipinski. "This bill will help improve American aviation, and my initiatives will make air travel better for passengers and for the environment."

(March 5, 2009)

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