House Passes Bill to Encourage Expedited Runway Upgrades
The U.S. House has approved a bill whose purpose is to encourage airport incentive payments to contractors to expedite runway upgrades and other critical airport projects, according to ENGINEERING NEWS RECORD. Under the legislation, which the House passed on Oct. 1, incentive payments of up to $1 million would become an eligible use of federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funds.
The Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2020 (H.R. 5912) introduced by T&I Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Subcommittee on Aviation Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA), does not authorize increased AIP funding, which totaled $3.35 billion in fiscal year 2020. Under the proposed legislation, use of incentive payments would be left to the discretion of individual airport authorities, ENR says.
“This is a smart reform that already works for road and bridge project construction and delivering airport projects ahead of schedule can help save money and essentially provide a similar impact as increasing investment without any additional federal resources,” Rep. Graves says in a statement.
In the Senate, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved a nearly identical bill on July 22, on a voice vote. There has been no floor action yet.
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