The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) welcomed passage this week by the U.S. House of Representatives of two association-supported bills that both look toward resolving important safety and security concerns utilizing the latest technologies and processes available.Passed by the House on Sept. 14, The National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act (H.R. 884) calls for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies to develop a national aviation preparedness plan for communicable disease outbreaks.
The bill, introduced by House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rep. Rick Larsen (D-2-WA), also calls for developing effective sanitization measures for airports, aircraft and other closed environments, and to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and other measures to effectively protect, screen and treat frontline aviation workers.
"The health of our nation's aviation workforce is vital to maintaining our transportation network in times of crisis, as we've seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We thank Rep. Larsen for sponsoring this important legislation and look forward to its advancement on Capitol Hill."
Also passing the House this week is H.R. 5315, the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act. Introduced by House General Aviation Caucus member Rep. Greg Stanton (D-9-AZ), this legislation would provide $100 million in grants for local governments to utilize unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) when inspecting, repairing, or constructing roads, public utilities and other critical infrastructure.
Bolen noted the bill, which would also provide $100 million for training the next generation workforce on the use of UAS, has the strong support of NBAA's Emerging Technologies Committee.
"At a time when the safety of our national infrastructure is of great concern to us all, this legislation would implement these key aviation systems to greatly speed the inspection process while also garnering support for UAS in other roles," he added.
Both bills will now move to the Senate for consideration.