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Connolly to Oppose Amendment Forcing More Flights Out of DCA

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) released the following statement in opposition to the proposed amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill that would force National Airport to accommodate more flights:

“One of my first local government appointments was to the Fairfax County Airports Advisory Committee. I subsequently spent 14 years in local government helping maintain the delicate regional balance between the two major airports in Northern Virginia, National Airport and Dulles International Airport. And I led the effort to connect our nation’s capital to Dulles via rail with the recently completed Silver Line extension of the DC Metro.

“So, let me introduce my colleagues to National Airport.

“National has the busiest runway in America. The airport is designed to serve 15 million passengers annually. Last year, it served 24 million. That is 9 million passengers, or 60 percent, over capacity. The airport has the third highest flight cancellation rate in the country, and one in every five flights is delayed by more than an hour.

“This amendment, which would force even more flights out of National Airport, is reckless. The FAA has certified that it would worsen delays. It would exacerbate pilot and flight crew exhaustion and would risk the safety of flights in and out of National Airport.

“I will oppose this amendment and, if it is adopted, I will oppose the underlying legislation. I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

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