Over the last couple of years, flight issues and airport headaches have increased what feels like tenfold. Every year, the airlines will serve over 850 million American passengers. Like many …
Over the last couple of years, flight issues and airport headaches have increased what feels like tenfold. Every year, the airlines will serve over 850 million American passengers. Like many Americans, I do my fair share of flying for work from Missouri to Washington, D.C. and have experienced countless delays without reason, overbookings, and frustrating cancellations. In modern day America, people should be able to rely on air travel to get them where they need to go when they buy a plane ticket. Especially during the summer months when there’s a huge uptick in travel as kids are out of school and Americans take family vacations or visit loved ones across the country. But being able to count on your flight taking off on time or at all is unfortunately no longer a given.
The House of Representatives is working on solutions to our nation’s aviation problems. It can be easy to place the blame on the airlines when travel problems arise (at times they certainly deserve it), but there are other factors out of their control that can be addressed to help ease travel woes and allow the American aviation industry as a whole run more efficiently. Yesterday, the House passed the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation (SGRLAA) Act to make travel safer, more reliable and allow the U.S. to maintain our position as a global leader in all things aviation.
The SGRLAA Act addresses several different issues with our nation’s aviation industry. First and foremost, it would restructure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make this government agency as efficient as a government agency can possibly be. The bill streamlines the rulemaking process and cuts red tape; does away with unnecessary, partisan roles that slow down agency processes; and creates an internal advocate for pilots and small businesses who deal with the FAA. It would also help bring much needed growth to our nation’s aviation workforce. While this industry already supports 11 million jobs, more staffing is needed. Oftentimes flight delays or long waits for checked luggage are due to staffing shortages. The SGRLAA Act would reestablish the Aviation Workforce Development grant program to help increase incentive for pilots, mechanics, and manufacturers, as well as instruct the FAA to support external aviation workforces and encourage private sector workforce involvement.
On top of targeted reforms, the bill is an investment in America’s airport infrastructure as a whole. It would authorize significant funding for the Airport Improvement Program and cut costly environmental red tape so that more funding can actually go toward fixing airports instead of appeasing bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency. Also included in those improvements are increased safety standards, reporting on customer experience, and driving innovation so the United States remains at the forefront of exceptional air travel and aviation standards.
While the airlines have their own issues to fix, this bill is a good start to getting American air travel back on track. Someone who travels for work shouldn’t have to worry about missing an important meeting across the country, and parents shouldn’t have to worry that their child isn’t going to make it home from out of state college for a holiday because of avoidable cancellations. This bill sheds light on specific areas that need oversight and seeks to bring FAA reform and infrastructure improvements wherever we can. It’s a large undertaking but as we saw with the passage of this bill, Congress is up to the task. American air travel and aviation desperately need to return to the efficient, competitive, and safe industry we knew not so long ago. And this bill is a huge step in the right direction.