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April 27, 2023
The U.S. Travel Association this week urged Congress to prioritize this year’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill to reduce stress on the U.S. air travel system, which is struggling to keep pace with consumer demand as the summer travel season approaches.
U.S. Travel shared new survey results this week during its quarterly travel outlook roundtable that show over half of all Americans (53%) and 81% of leisure travelers have travel planned in the next six months. While demand remains strong, 52% of those surveyed said they would travel more for leisure in the next six months if the travel experience was not as much of a hassle.
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said a lack of funding for the FAA overall, insufficient funds for air traffic control staffing and increasing demands on FAA resources are creating strain on the air travel infrastructure.
“Americans are paying the price of years of chronic underinvestment – in technology and staffing – by the federal government in our nation’s air travel system,” Freeman said. “Air travelers are right to be frustrated and to demand more from Washington.”
U.S. Travel has three asks for this year’s FAA reauthorization bill: at least $50 million per year for aviation workforce development programs to increase the supply of qualified pilots and mechanics; $4.5 billion in funding for air traffic control infrastructure and technology; and at least $4 billion per year in Airport Improvement Program Grants.