COSTELLO TO BUSH: “THANKS FOR READING OUR BILL”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL), Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to President Bush's announcement regarding actions his administration has taken to address congestion and delays and the modernization of our nation's airspace:
“I want to thank President Bush for reading our bill, H.R. 2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, for most of the ideas he announced today come right out of our bill. Finishing the rulemaking on overbooked flights, requiring better data collection and reporting by airlines on delays, and requiring airline and airport contingency plans for flight delays — they are all in there. Furthermore, H.R. 2881 contains historic levels of funding for FAA operations and to fund the Next Generation Air Transportation System.
“I would also point out that it has been the House of Representatives, not the Senate, which has passed a comprehensive FAA reauthorization bill. We are waiting for the Senate to take up its bill, much as we waited all year for the President, the Department of Transportation and the FAA to engage on the issue of congestion and delays. As I said when former FAA-Administrator Blakey addressed delays on her last day on the job, today's announcement by the President is better late than never.
“While we continue to wait for the Senate to act, the House Aviation Subcommittee today held its third hearing of the year on aviation consumer issues, and we had an excellent discussion of the actions that airlines and airports have taken to prepare for the holiday travel rush. We look forward to going to conference on the FAA reauthorization as soon as the Senate passes a bill, and I am glad that the President has read our bill and endorsed key portions of it. I look forward to passing it into law.”