Rep. Huffman Advances Key North Coast Priorities in FAA Reauthorization Act
Washington, D.C.- Rep. Huffman (D-San Rafael) secured two key North Coast wins in the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018, which passed the House of Representatives: improving rural air service for small community airports like the California Redwood Coast - Humboldt County Airport and increasing the equitable treatment of forestry and fire protection pilots.
“The FAA Reauthorization is a bipartisan success in Congress: it provides vital long-term funding for aviation safety, improves passenger experience, and includes a separate set of critical reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster response and recovery programs to better prepare us for disasters,” said Rep. Huffman. “In addition to these national gains, I am glad Congress has agreed with my amendments to recognize and reward the contributions of forestry and fire protection pilots, and to allow increased travel options and flexibility for communities like Humboldt County.”
Working with the California Fire Pilots Association, Rep. Huffman’s first amendment will correct an inequity regarding how FAA regulations treat government operators who seek to log flight time spent piloting Forestry and Fire Protection public aircraft versus other public aircraft.
Huffman’s other amendment would allow Humboldt County and other small and rural communities to use federal grant funding to reinitiate a route to a previously served destination after a reasonable period of time. Current law permanently bars small communities from re-using development grants to reinitiate service. Daily service to Los Angeles has been restarted from the California Redwood Coast - Humboldt County Airport, but this new provision of law could assist the airport with new service in the future.
The FAA Reauthorization also preserves the Essential Air Service program that Crescent City depends on.
The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 provides the agency with the funding it needs over the next five years to carry out its safety mission and ensure that the United States will continue to lead the world in all things aviation. This legislation includes provisions to ensure the safety of the U.S. aviation system and provide protections for the hundreds of millions of passengers and crewmembers who fly each year.
Also included in this bipartisan bill is the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which makes critical reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster response and recovery programs that will help communities better prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against disasters of all kinds.