President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for a bipartisan effort from Congress “to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that [the United States] so desperately needs.” In remarks made in his first State of the Union address, Trump pushed for private-sector investment as well as state and local funding to bolster federal initiatives to rebuild what he called “our crumbling infrastructure.”
The president also pushed for any infrastructure bill from Congress to “streamline the permitting and approval process, getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps, even one.”
Airports Council International-North America used this opportunity to urge the Trump administration and Congress to work together to address the infrastructure needs of America’s airports.
“With nearly $100 billion in infrastructure needs through 2021, America’s airports face unprecedented challenges when it comes to airport infrastructure investment,” says Kevin Burke, ACI-NA’s president and CEO. “In [Tuesday’s] State of the Union address, President Trump missed an important opportunity to provide greater clarity on an infrastructure plan that provides airports with the local control and self-help they need to stay globally competitive and keep up with demand as passenger growth breaks records year after year. Airports are essential infrastructure, and we remain committed to continuing our work with President Trump and Congress to address our significant airport infrastructure needs.”
The American Association of Airport Executives also used the occasion to highlight an important issue missing from the speech.
“We welcome the president’s focus on infrastructure,” says Todd Hauptli, president and CEO of AAAE. “For airports, there is a very simple and straightforward solution that aligns with administration goals of empowering local governments and leveraging non-federal resources — it’s called increasing the Passenger Facility Charge. With constrained federal resources, including a PFC increase as part of the final infrastructure package should be a no-brainer.”