Duckworth’s Provisions to Create Aviation Jobs, Improve Airplane Safety and Protect Airplane Passengers with Disabilities Pass Senate Commerce Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several provisions proposed by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to create jobs, improve airline safety and protect travelers with disabilities passed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee today as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2017. Duckworth's proposals in the FAA Reauthorization Act, which is set to be considered by the full Senate, include:
- Duckworth's Local Labor Hiring Pilot Program Amendment would help establish a 3-year pilot program, comparable to what FHWA/FTA operates, to help ensure airports hire local laborers for airport infrastructure projects, serving to bring new construction and operations jobs to local communities. This amendment would also help support a skilled workforce and create employment opportunities for Veterans. Regarding this amendment, Duckworth said, "Initiatives like this one that help increase local employment and workforce training opportunities are just common sense, and I look forward to continuing my work to create more good-paying infrastructure jobs throughout Illinois and across the country."
- Duckworth's bipartisan Forward Looking Investment in General Aviation, Hangars, and Tarmacs (FLIGHT) Act, which she introduced with U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) earlier this month, would make it easier for more than 65 small and rural airports in Illinois to undertake important infrastructure improvements, helping create local. Duckworth said regarding the FLIGHT Act: "As a general aviation pilot, I know how important small and rural airports are to communities across the state of Illinois. That's why I'm glad this bill passed through committee today, bringing us one step closer to ensuring these airports have the resources they need to support local job growth and economic development."
- Duckworth's bipartisan Disabled Passenger Assistance Training Amendment would ensure that passengers with disabilities receive timely and effective assistance at airports and on aircraft by requiring airport personnel who provide physical assistance to passengers also receive hands-on training to enable them to better serve people with disabilities and handle any special equipment. The amendment is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Regarding the amendment, Duckworth said: "Far too many Americans living with a disability - many of whom are Veterans like myself - face unnecessary challenges during air travel, which can have a profound effect on their wellbeing. My amendment would go a long way to correct these issues and ensure disabled Americans receive the assistance they need at the airport and on the airplane."
- Duckworth's Advisory Committee on the Air Travel Needs of Passengers with Disabilities Sunset Extension Amendment would eliminate the termination date for the Advisory Committee on the Air Travel Needs of Passengers with Disabilities that advises USDOT in implementing the Air Carrier Access Act
Duckworth's bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act also passed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee today as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2017. This legislation would support women and families nationwide by ensuring breastfeeding mothers traveling through large- and medium-sized airports have accessible, clean and convenient lactation rooms to use. The bill would ensure that within two years all large and medium hub airports in the United States provide a private space that is accessible to persons with disabilities in each terminal for mothers to express breastmilk. The legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and a companion bill was re-introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Steve Knight (R-CA). This bill has been endorsed by the U.S. Breastfeeding Coalition, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Military Family Association, the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
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