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Category: politics

With reforms to improve passenger safety and airport security, streamline passenger security screening, and provide stability for airline passengers, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have voted to support an extension of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“This measure implements commonsense solutions to reduce the wait time at security checkpoints while preserving the security of aircraft,” said Crapo.  “Further, this bill provides some relief to consumers who choose to check baggage but then, through no fault of their own, do not receive their baggage at their destination.  This bill effectively balances maintaining passenger and airport safety with efficient airport operations.”

“I supported the FAA reauthorization because it gives critical certainty to aviators, airports, and consumers across the board,” said Risch “The inclusion of reforms that reduce government regulations on pilots is especially important to Idaho’s general aviation community. In addition, terror attacks across the world have made the safety and security of our airports an even greater priority. While there is still more to do, this bill goes further in making American travelers safer at home and abroad. What we’ve passed today represents a comprehensive approach to  solving our the transportation needs as we look toward the future.”

In a notable win for consumers, the reauthorization requires airlines to refund checked bag fees to passengers when their baggage is unreasonably delayed or lost.  For Idaho, the bill maintains Boise’s TRACON radar control system, which had in years past been the subject of discussions to co-locate with Salt Lake City, but was saved by Idaho’s congressional delegation. 

For safety and security, the measure includes provisions to streamline the process of hiring of additional air traffic controllers to address chronic shortages.  Further, the reauthorization will expand the TSA PreCheck program in order to identify more trusted travelers to increase checkpoints efficiency and screening to more passengers quickly.

The reauthorization now goes to President Obama who is expected to approve it.  A summary of the bill and full-text of the bill can be found at the Senate Commerce Committee website.