BAF Applauds Federal Aviation Bill; Implementation of NextGen

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Congress passed a multi-year bill to fund federal aviation programs and modernize the nation’s air traffic control system.  The legislation is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign it into law.  In response, Building America’s Future President Marcia Hale issued the following:

“We applaud the passage of this long-overdue aviation bill. The U.S. has the world’s worst air traffic congestion – a quarter of our flights arrive more than 15 minutes late, and the national average for all delayed flights is twice that of Europe’s average. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum ranks U.S. air transportation infrastructure 31st in the world, behind countries like Panama, Chile and Malaysia. This bill will finally bring our nation’s air traffic control system into the 21st Century by moving forward with the implementation of NextGen. NextGen will open America’s skies to continued growth and increased safety while reducing aviation’s environmental impact.“

Building America’s Future Educational Fund recently released a new report – “Falling Apart and Falling Behind” – using 2010 data to compare the transportation infrastructure investments in the U.S. with those being made by our economic competitors:

 U.S. infrastructure has fallen from first place in the World Economic Forum’s 2005 economic competitiveness ranking to number 15 today.

 China now boasts six of the world’s top ten ports – and none of the top ten are located in the U.S.

 U.S. air traffic control is managed by the same ground-based system developed in the 1950’s.

 The U.S. is one of the only leading nations without a national plan for public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects or a National Infrastructure Bank to finance large-scale projects and leverage private capital.

The report includes a series of recommendations to policymakers; chief among them is to develop a national infrastructure strategy for the next decade that makes choices based on economics, not politics. For the full report and more information, please visit

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