By AOPA ePublishing staff
When progress stalled on an FAA funding bill in the Senate this month, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) took to the floor, urging his colleagues to focus on the issues at hand and support the compromise bill without user fees. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Dorgan helped broker that compromise.
“Does anybody really think modernizing our air traffic control system is somehow a back-burner issue?” he asked his colleagues.
Sen. Dorgan discussed how the bill would impact airport infrastructure and fund the Airport Improvement Program. He implored his colleagues to consider the impact of inaction.
“My hope is that those of us who are elected to come here, who try to make some improvements in this country, who do what is necessary for the health and safety of the people of this country will soon understand that the FAA reauthorization bill is not just some other piece of legislation.... The modernization of the air traffic control system is not some option that we ought to consider like any other bill. This is urgent and necessary and timely, and we ought to do it now,” Sen. Dorgan concluded.
The Senate on May 6 failed to garner enough votes to limit debate on the FAA funding bill when some lawmakers objected to nonaviation issues that had been added to the legislation. Those objections prevented a final vote on the FAA funding bill. The FAA is currently operating under a temporary funding measure that expires on June 30.
May 15, 2008