Legislation Introduced to Reopen DCA to Charter Operations

U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA), Congressman John Mica (R-FL), Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA), and Congressman James Moran (D-VA) introduced legislation Feb. 17, 2005 that would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resume on-demand air charter and general aviation operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

The bill would require the DHS, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, to develop regulations within six months of the bill's passage that would allow charter and general aviation operations to resume at DCA. Such regulations may include the screening of all flights entering the airport, physical inspections of aircraft, advance clearance of passenger manifests by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and limiting the airports from which flights into DCA can originate.

The legislation was introduced, at the request of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and will be forwarded for consideration to the appropriate committees having oversight of this issue.

"We are very pleased that Senator Allen and Chairmen Mica and Davis, as well as Congressman Moran, have continued the fight to restore charter and general aviation flights to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport," NATA president James K. Coyne said . Since 9/11 the general aviation industry has done everything requested of it by the TSA and Federal Aviation Administration to return non-scheduled operations to DCA, and yet the government continues to remain silent on the issue. This bill highlights the overwhelming support that exists for reopening our nation's capital airport to charter and general aviation operations.

"After over three years of delay, it is time the Administration recognizes the enormous economic benefit charter and general aviation provide to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area as well as the extensive measures this industry has undertaken to ensure the highest level of security," Coyne concluded. "The legislation offered by Senator Allen and Congressmen Mica, Davis, and Moran is a great step toward opening DCA to all of aviation once again."