U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Government Relations Tori Barnes issued the following statement on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill:
"While the bill provides much-needed certainty regarding some aspects of funding and includes several measures that protect travelers and improve the travel experience, the FAA reauthorization bill does not address some of the biggest challenges in aviation: insufficient funding for large hub airports and declining airline options.
"We believe it is a significant oversight to exclude large hub airports from the AIP discretionary grant program and deny them opportunities for infrastructure funding they desperately need to grow and modernize.
"The bill also contains a measure that undermines the successful Open Skies policy and makes it more difficult for new, low-cost international carriers to fly to the U.S.
"While America seeks to regain its lost share of the international travel market, it is critical that we allow for competition and give travelers more, not fewer, choices.
"We look forward to working with the Senate as they craft their FAA bill and hope that some of these issues—critical to travelers and the travel experience—can be more holistically addressed in a final package."
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.