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Schatz Legislation To Strengthen Airport Resilience, Address Air Noise, Improve Air Tour Safety In Hawai‘i Included In Bipartisan Senate FAA Reauthorization Bill

Four Schatz-Led Provisions Included Would Help Airports Adapt to Extreme Weather; Make Air Tours Safer, Reduce Noise, Following Passage in Commerce Committee, Bill Now Set for Full Senate Vote

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced provisions from several of his bills were included in the bipartisan Senate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2023 that passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation this week. Originally part of the Air Tour and Skydiving Safety Improvement Act, the Hawai‘i Air Tour Management Act, the Improved Transportation Consumer Protection Act, and the Natural Hazard Resilience for Airports Act, the four Schatz-led provisions will help airports adapt to extreme weather and improve air tour management in Hawai‘i, making tours safer for passengers and less noisy for residents.

“These provisions will help airports in Hawai‘i and across the country become more resilient to disasters, which are becoming more frequent and severe every year. They’ll also make air tours in Hawai‘i safer for passengers and reduce noise levels for residents,” said Senator Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Specifically, the provisions would ensure airport projects that would improve resilience to sea level rise and extreme weather are eligible for funding under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program. Additionally, the FAA would be directed to participate as a technical advisor in Hawaii’s air noise and safety task force to address the noise impacts of these flights. In Hawai‘i, at least 85 people have died in air tour crashes since the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) began keeping records – the highest number of any state.

Schatz originally introduced the Air Tour and Skydiving Safety Improvement Act and the Hawai‘i Air Tour Management Act with the Hawai‘i congressional delegation and the Natural Hazard Resilience for Airports Act with Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.).