Van Drew Remarks on FAA Reauthorization Bill that Secures FAA Tech Center is Permanently Located in South Jersey
November 30, 2023 — Congressman Van Drew gave remarks in a Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation subcommittee hearing about the urgent need for the Senate to take up the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill, already passed by the House, where language was secured by Congressman Van Drew to ensure the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center for Advanced Aviation remains permanently located in South Jersey.
“For too many years there was a concern about potentially losing the William J. Hughes FAA Tech Center and the jobs it provides to other parts of the country. Through this FAA Reauthorization bill, I have ensured that concern is no longer,” said Congressman Van Drew. “In our committee hearing, I highlighted how important it is for the Tech Center to continue expanding and advancing in order to compete with China and the rest of the world. If the Senate does not take up this bill, our great country will be at risk of losing our competitive edge and standing on the world stage.”Click here to hear my full remarks and line of questioning.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I rise today in strong support of passing a comprehensive and long-term FAA Reauthorization. In the House bill, we have secured a number of big wins for America.
“I am most proud to say that our bill makes the William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center permanently located in South Jersey and more specifically dedicated to advanced aerospace.
“The newly named William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center for Advanced Aerospace will provide steady jobs and opportunity for technical advancement aimed at bettering the safety and capabilities of air travel.
“I have also supported an amendment that will improve the protections for people with disabilities in our air travel industry.
“The air travel experience should be a pleasant and safe endeavor for all people, so ensuring quality access is of utmost importance.
“American Aviation today faces numerous problems ranging from air traffic controller shortages, safety issues with documented near misses of aircraft, a rising number of cancellations, and our inability to keep up with advancing technology.
“Staffing shortages are plaguing aviation. This not only has detrimental impacts on our economy and the Labor workforce, but the safety capabilities of our Aviation industry.
“If the Senate does not pass a long-term funding solution to the FAA, America is at risk of losing its competitive edge in our tech race against China.
“On October 1st of this year, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 expired leaving a huge gap in our ability to secure funding and programmatic support for the FAA.
“With the good work of Chairman Graves and Ranking Member Larsen, we passed a strong FAA bill in the House. We now have just over a month left of short-term funding for this essential agency.
“We are operating without a flight pattern, and it has been clear that if we do not pass long-term and sustaining funding, the FAA will not be able to develop better technologies, safety measures, and operating procedures to fix the constantly growing issues that the traveling public faces.
“America must remain in the gold standard in aviation. “We must act now to pass a long-term FAA bill.”