June 15, 2023

Van Hollen, Cardin, Warner, Kaine Statement on the FAA Reauthorization

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) along with Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.) issued the following statement regarding legislation to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs:

“The three airports of the Washington metropolitan area have worked in tandem for decades to connect the nation’s capital to destinations around the world while serving as centerpieces of the region’s economy. We will strongly oppose any FAA reauthorization that destabilizes this tried-and-true equilibriumby expanding the number of flights or passengers into and out of National. Any such interference by Congress would disrupt the balance among the region’s airports, generate longer lines and more delays at DCA, create more noise for nearby residents, and hurt local economies in both of our states.”

Acknowledging the physical limitations at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), Congress has since 1986 restricted the number of nonstop flights that can originate out of DCA to airports outside of a 1,250-mile perimeter, while Washington Dulles International (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) were planned to fully support the region’s growing aviation needs. However, in past FAA reauthorization bills, Congress has made changes to these rules that have disrupted the balance in this three-airportsystem by adding additional flights from Reagan to destinations outside the 1,250-mile perimeter. These changes in flight activity have produced significant stress on DCA’s facilities, from strained roadways and limited parking availability to overburdened baggage systems, and created frustrations for travelers, businesses, and local residents.

In March, Senators Van Hollen, Cardin, Warner, and Kaine sent a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee strongly opposing any further changes at airports that serve residents of the National Capital Area. Senators Van Hollen, Cardin, Warner, and Kaine also penned an op-ed yesterday urging their colleagues to oppose changes to the current slot and perimeter rules at DCA.