The North American Concrete Alliance (NACA), a coalition of 12 national concrete and cement associations, commended Congress for passing a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA). This legislation included many federal policy priorities supported by the cement and concrete industries, which collectively employ 600,000 Americans and contribute more than $100 billion each year to the U.S. economy.

As passed, the FAA reauthorization provides long-term stability for the agency until fiscal year 2023 and supports airport investments in concrete-intensive projects needed to meet the growing demand for air travel. The reauthorization of the FAA is the first long-term reauthorization passed since 2012 and the longest authorization of the FAA since 1982.

“Airports are one of the nation’s most essential transportation hubs for moving people, goods and powering our economy,” says Portland Cement Association (PCA) President and CEO Michael Ireland. “We applaud reauthorization of these vitally important programs needed for the successful maintenance and expansion of airports across the country. By ensuring a long-term FAA reauthorization, there will be more stability for projects and industry jobs.”

The FAA reauthorization also included renewal of the airfield pavement research and deployment program (titled Research and Deployment of Certain Airfield Pavement Technologies), which enables the agency to partner with universities and non-profit organizations on research and deployment of airfield pavement technology. This research helps create stronger, more durable runways that save taxpayers money while meeting growth in the demand for air travel.

“Research and deployment of concrete and asphalt airfield pavement technologies is important to maximize the investments made in airfield infrastructure,” says American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) President and CEO Jerry Voigt. “Implementation of new pavement technologies will aid in the development of safer, more cost-effective and longer lasting airfield pavements.”

The FAA reauthorization also provides five years of funding certainty for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). While NACA is pleased that the FAA reauthorization provides five years of funding certainty for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), the alliance views current AIP funding levels, $3.35 billion/year through 2023, as inadequate to address the $20 billion in annual airport capital investment needs cited by the Airports Council International-North America. We also continue to believe that the current cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), a locally collected and administered fee capped at $4.50/ticket since 2001, is inappropriate and should be eliminated. NACA will continue to work with Congress to address this issue.

Additionally, NACA lauded passage of the DRRA, which improves federal disaster recovery programs by placing a greater emphasis on investing in hazard mitigation efforts, including building more durable evacuation routes.

“This bill ensures that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and in a way that will leave communities more resilient to future disasters,” says American Concrete Pipe Association President Russell Tripp. “By encouraging rebuilding with modern, stronger and resilient materials this bill will allow for better protection of life and property, as well as, place fewer burdens on local services and provide for a more stable local economy”

NACA applauds Congress for making these investment decisions now, to help future community’s better resist disasters and reduce the potential financial impact should a disaster occur. Alliance members include PCA, the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Concrete Pumping Association, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Concrete Foundations Association, National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and the Tilt Up Concrete Association.

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For more information: Holly Arthur 202-719-1979.