April 27, 2005: NORTON PERSISTENCE ON REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT PAYS OFF

Jan 11, 2006
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2005

NORTON PERSISTENCE ON REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT PAYS OFF

Washington, DC-A bill Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) cosponsored with the leadership of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which she is a member, to reopen Reagan National Airport to general aviation within the next two months was unanimously approved by the committee today.

After almost four years of work since 9-11 on returning charter flights, corporate aviation and private aircraft to Reagan National, Norton was delighted today to have Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK); Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-MN); Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-FL); and Ranking Member Jerry Costello (D-IL) as lead sponsors with her on a bill for immediate reopening. 

In 2003, committee leadership also supported a Norton provision in the FAA Reauthorization requiring the development and implementation of a security plan to reopen flights at the airport.  However, neither the Department of Homeland Security nor the Federal Aviation Administration has delivered a plan, leading to today’s bill.  Chairman Young today said he would hold officials in contempt if the Department of Homeland Security continued to defy Congress. 

“I am grateful for them first in supporting my provision mandating a plan, and failing to get the plan, now determined in this new bill to require reopening,” Norton said.  “Even after millions of dollars were spent and significant actions were taken to upgrade security at the airport, National unnecessarily remains the only airport in the country where there has been no general aviation since 9-11.  Our committee appropriately ran out of patience.”