Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization with Collins-King Amendment to Improve Rural Healthcare

The provision, which is included in the five-year reauthorization, requires that airport improvement plans take into account the role airports play in medical emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and Angus King (I-Maine) applauded the passage of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. The legislation, which passed with strong bipartisan support, authorizes funding for all FAA programs, including FAA operations, research and development, aviation programs, extension of expiring authorities, airport planning and improvement, and noise compatibility and programs.

 

The legislation also includes an amendment introduced by Senators Collins and King requiring any future evaluations of airport master plans to take into account the role of airports to support evacuations related to medical emergencies or natural disasters. The amendment will be a boost for Maine’s rural communities, which regularly use their airports to transport patients to larger medical centers in emergencies.

 

“Our rural citizens should be able to access the medical care they need, and airports can help facilitate that for patients who require care in a larger or more specialized center,” said Senators Collins and King. “This FAA reauthorization, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, will help ensure that future airport investments will be made with the health of rural Mainers in mind.”

 

The FAA is primarily responsible for the advancement, safety, and regulation of civil aviation, as well as for overseeing the operation of the air traffic control system and the development of commercial space travel. The legislation passed today will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.