[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 213 (Thursday, December 9, 2021)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1345]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





                  GROUND-BASED AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. SHARICE DAVIDS

                               of kansas

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, December 9, 2021

  Ms. DAVIDS of Kansas. Madam Speaker, I rise today to engage with my 
colleague, Representative Rick Larsen, the Chair of the House 
Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.
  I thank Representative Larsen for his hard work to ensure that 
aviation priorities were included in the Infrastructure Investment and 
Jobs Act. I am concerned about the many ground-based air traffic 
management systems that are now operating well beyond their planned 
service life. This includes the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) 
network of more than 2,700 navigation and landing systems located at 
more than 1,500 sites in all 50 states. For the last 20 years, the FAA 
has been systematically dedicated to the implementation of NextGen to 
enable more efficient flight operations in the National Airspace 
System. During this period, investment has shifted away from legacy 
ground-based air traffic control infrastructure. It is important for us 
all to recognize that aging electronic systems cannot be sustained 
indefinitely. I am concerned that accelerating rates of component 
failures combined with parts obsolescence creates a risk of field 
failures that would threaten aviation safety and the flying public.
  I am pleased that Division J, Title VIII of the Infrastructure 
Investment and Jobs Act provides $5 billion over 5 years for the FAA's 
Facilities and Equipment account. Included in this amount is funding to 
address investment and modernization shortfalls in ground-based 
aviation infrastructure, including landing and navigational aids. These 
systems are critical to maintaining safety in the national airspace and 
providing operational resiliency.
  Representative Larsen, I am glad that the bill reflects our shared 
priorities of providing more funding to the FAA's Facilities and 
Equipment budget and I want to be certain that a proportionate amount 
is spent on modernization of crucial infrastructure, such as lighting 
and landing systems. Is it your understanding that this is consistent 
with the intent of the committee? Can we continue to work to ensure 
that the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2022 spend plan reflects 
these congressional priorities?

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