Durbin Applauds Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Enhance Security & Improve Air Travel

Senate passed legislation reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration; must now be approved by the House of Representatives

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded the Senate’s passage of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The legislation which includes provisions to strengthen U.S. airport security and improve air travel now goes to the House of Representatives for approval. 


“The tragic attack in Brussels was a harrowing reminder that more can be done to enhance security for airport and transit systems across our country – especially in large metropolitan areas like Chicago,” said Durbin.  “We also can’t ignore the economic importance of serving communities around the state with safe, efficient and affordable air travel option.  This bill improves security at airports around the country, maintains reliable air service in rural areas and puts in place important passenger rights and protections.  I urge the House to act quickly on this legislation and work with the Senate to fund these important measures.”


In addition to the new security measures, today’s FAA Reauthorization bill includes authorization for the following programs:


  • Essential Air Service (EAS): The legislation will ensure that Illinois communities will remain a part of the EAS program which helps rural areas keep the commercial air service they have now and attract new service in the future. 


  • Contract Towers: Continues to support the Contract Tower Program, providing critical aviation at airports across Illinois.


  • Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Increases authorized funding to support infrastructure needs like runway improvements and enhancing safety at airports.


  • Passenger Service & Consumer Protection:  The legislation mandates new rules requiring automatic fee refunds for misplaced luggage.  It mandates that airlines and ticket agents disclose luggage, flight change, cancellation, and seat choice fees in a standardized, easy-to-understand format.  And, it directs airlines to inform people traveling with children about policies on adjoining seat requests.