Bill to advance new aviation tech in Kansas passes House of Representatives, heads to Senate

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo, Democrat Sharice Davids waves at her supporters at a...
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo, Democrat Sharice Davids waves at her supporters at a Democratic event in Kansas City, Kan. Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder and his Democratic challenger, Davids are having a hard time keeping their political footing on immigration issues, complicating their efforts to win a competitive swing district in Kansas that President Donald Trump narrowly lost. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP, File)(AP)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A bill sponsored by Representative Sharice Davids to advance new aviation technology in the Sunflower State has passed the House of Representatives and will now head to the Senate.

On Thursday, Nov. 4, U.S. Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-KS) says the House of Representatives passed her bipartisan bill to advance innovative new aviation technology. She said she serves as the Vice-Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and introduced the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act earlier in 2021 with Ranking Member for the Aviation Subcommittee Garret Graves (R-LA).

“Kansas was once the center of aviation manufacturing in the country, and we are still home to a significant and skilled aviation workforce. That means we are especially primed to harness the huge economic and transportation potential of advanced air mobility—but we can’t wait for it to come to us,” said Davids. “I’m proud to see my bill pass the House with bipartisan support, and I look forward to bringing industry and federal agency leaders together to take advantage of this emerging technology and continue promoting U.S. leadership in aviation.”

Representative Davids said advanced air mobility is an emerging sector of the industry that creates an entirely new mode of transportation with the use of specialized vehicles to transport people and cargo between places previously underserved by the aviation industry in both urban and rural areas. She said AAM will expand sustainable regional transportation options, offer new ways to move goods, create skilled jobs in the Sunflower State’s aviation industry and boost emergency preparedness and competitiveness.

“This bill is a gamechanger for how we develop new transportation options, help with the future ways we move goods, and create new jobs. It will also support our emergency preparedness and disaster relief efforts. The time is fast approaching for ways the federal government will have to plan for new and emerging aviation technology which could positively disrupt existing ways of life. We should be taking the steps now to mitigate and integrate the benefits, instead of waiting for the positive disruption caused by future technology, and ensuring our existing transportation and infrastructure systems have the right preparation. This bipartisan legislation pushes the United States forward in the right direction and bolsters our global leadership in this transformative space. This is a great bill and glad to have worked with Congresswoman Sharice Davids to get it over the finish line,” said Rep. Graves.

Davids said her bill would create an AAM interagency group made up of federal agencies and civil aviation leaders. The group would review policies and make recommendations to advance the emerging technology. Through the coordination of the government and industry, she said the bill would help harness the potential of the technology.

“Advanced Air Mobility holds significant opportunity for the Kansas City region as a new transportation option, economic engine, and sustainable way to connect people and goods. For example, just imagine if you could travel to Kansas City International Airport in less than half the time of driving,” said Ron Achelpohl, Director of Transportation and Environment for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). “We are glad that Rep. Davids recognizes the potential of this emerging technology to benefit our community, and we support efforts to bring industry leaders and government agencies together to ensure AAM technology advances with both innovation and safety in mind.”

Davids said estimates predict AAM will be a $115 billion industry by 2035, which would create over 280,000 high-paying jobs in the U.S.

“The Advanced Air Mobility sector is on the verge of transforming the future of aviation with the introduction of electric and hybrid powered aircraft into the national airspace system. The Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act will ensure that the federal government develops a coordinated approach for promoting this innovative sector of aviation which will facilitate additional transportation options, create jobs and economic activity, advance environmental sustainability and new technologies, and support emergency preparedness and competitiveness. We commend the House for passing this important bipartisan legislation and are grateful for those that championed it, including the bill’s sponsors, Representatives Davids and Graves, as well as all of the cosponsors,” said Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

Davids said the bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support and is endorsed by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Regional Airline Association. The bill now awaits action in the Senate, where a companion bill sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has already passed out of committee.

“Regional airlines are leading the way in investing in electric aircraft and eVOTLs, and we applaud Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) for their leadership in introducing and passing this critical piece of legislation. Regional airlines will be among the first to put electric aircraft into service, making carbon-free flight available for the first time to the traveling public. The Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act will help bring together aviation industry stakeholders and government partners to promote these new technologies and tackle operational and regulatory hurdles that stand in the way of their widespread adoption,” said Faye Malarkey Black, President & CEO of Regional Airline Association (RAA).

To read the full bill, click HERE.

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