September 26, 2018

Cortez Masto Introduces Four Innovation State Initiative Bills for Inclusion in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Bill

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced four bills for inclusion in the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill: the Generating Revenue for Electric and Emission-Negligible (GREEN) Vehicles at Airports Act; the bipartisan Increased Aviation Safety through Contract Towers Act; the Drone Safety Enhancement Act; and the bipartisan UAS Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. The bills are part of Cortez Masto’s Innovation State Initiative, her ongoing efforts to boost Nevada’s continued advancement and leadership in technology and innovation. 

“I’m proud to introduce these bills that will aid in making Nevada’s airports greener, safer and more efficient. The GREEN Vehicles at Airports Act will allow our airports to expand Nevada’s green transportation efforts to cut down on air pollution by supporting the deployment of zero-emission service vehicles. In addition, the Increased Aviation Safety through Contract Towers Act will ensure that airports like the Boulder City Airport that serve smaller communities receive the necessary funding to improve air-traffic control, as well as to enhance safety on flights traveling to and from often rural areas. 

“As one of the seven FAA-designated national test sites in the country, I have also introduced amendments that will help Nevada maintain its leadership in drone technology. The Drone Safety Enhancement Act puts safety first as we continue testing and learning more about drones, and the UAS Critical Infrastructure Protection Act will ensure that we have the right rules in place as soon as possible for Nevada’s drone industry to thrive. Nevada is on the cusp of America’s innovation economy and I’m doing all I can in the Senate to make sure we have the appropriate guardrails and investment in place to protect Nevadans and create good paying jobs in Nevada.” 

BACKGROUND: 

Generating Revenue for Electric and Emission-Negligible (GREEN) Vehicles at Airports Act 

  • Allows the purchase and lease of zero-emission vehicles to be eligible for funding within the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
  • Authorizes DOT to establish a new zero-emission airport technology program to facilitate the deployment of commercially viable zero-emission vehicles, technology, and related infrastructure at airports and to minimize the risk of deploying such vehicles.

Increased Aviation Safety through Contract Towers Act – co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

  • For the first time, makes construction of a contract tower for air-traffic control at smaller airports eligible for the Small Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

Drone Safety Enhancement Act

  • Authorizes $1 million annually for the “Know Before You Fly” drone public service campaign that has not previously received federal funding support.
  • Requires a review of federal counter-UAS coordination efforts.
  • Mandates a specific deadline for a rulemaking for legal drone activity around designated critical infrastructure, while adding railroad facilities to that consideration. 

UAS Critical Infrastructure Protection Act – co-sponsored by Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

  • Mandates a specific deadline for a rulemaking for legal drone activity around designated critical infrastructure, while adding railroad facilities to that consideration.

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