Ahead of what the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts will be the busiest travel day of the record-setting July 4 holiday weekend, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the urgent need for Congress to address FAA staffing and funding shortages through the agency’s reauthorization bill:  

“U.S. airlines have hired more than 55,000 new workers since 2022 to help stave off delays, yet we need an act of Congress and FAA policy changes just to hire 1,800 air traffic controllers per year and ensure they are staffed in the right places. This is unacceptable, and Congress and the FAA must move faster. 

“The freedom to travel is critical to our country’s economy, but these staffing shortages and inefficiencies put unnecessary strain on the air travel system. The tremendous demand we anticipate this weekend—which drives travel spending in every region of the country—should spur Congress to work quickly to finalize an FAA reauthorization bill that will make our air travel system more modern, efficient and secure for decades to come.” 


U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing the $1.3 trillion travel industry, an essential contributor to our nation's economy and success. U.S. Travel produces programs and insights and advocates for policies to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for more information.



Greg Staley

Senior Vice President, Communications

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