Press Release

March 15, 2000

Tony Iallonardo
(202) 861-6772

Kevin McCarty
(202) 861-6711

Conference Leaders Praise Aviation Agreement
Legislation will support airport investment throughout U.S.

Capitol Hill- In a statement today, Conference of Mayors President and Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb praised Congressional leaders for their three-year aviation investment plan that will help the nation's airports meet continuing growth in passenger travel and air cargo. "In cities like Denver, Atlanta, Chicago and other cities all across the nation, we can now capture the full benefit of the federal aviation dollars now collected from the traveling public and others in the form of increased investment at our airports.."

Webb also emphasized that "this agreement is not just about making sure these dollars are spent on aviation needs, it is about building a safer and more efficient national aviation system for the 21st Century." He also said, "The nation's mayors applaud the leadership of the House and Senate who crafted this agreement and in the process have strengthened our commitment to the nation's aviation system."

Approved by the Senate last week, it passed the House today by 319-101 and now goes to President Clinton, who supports it. The bill will invest $40 billion over the next three years in programs of the Federal Aviation Administration and at the nation's airports. This legislation, which will also allows airports to collect increased fees from airport users to support local airport improvements, could come before the Senate and House for final passage next week.

Earlier this month, Conference leaders traveled to Capitol Hill to urge Congress to act on a multi-year renewal bill. Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, who leads the Conference's efforts on transportation matters and oversees the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield International Airport, told a House aviation panel that "Our regional growth is dependent upon Hartsfield." He also called on Congressional leaders to break the impasse and act quickly on the pending legislation.

Also urging the conferees to reach a final agreement was Tulsa Mayor M. Susan Savage, a member of the Conference's Executive Committee. She explained how U.S. metro economies are driving U.S. economic growth and that " aviation investment is needed to sustain these economies."

At the Summer Leadership Meeting of the Conference of Mayor in Denver last September, Conference President and Denver Mayor Wellington Webb made enactment of aviation legislation a top Conference legislative priority. Mayor Webb also recently released "A New Agenda for America's Cities," which sets forth a ten-point program that emphasizes the importance of infrastructure investment on aviation.

The U. S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.