September 14, 2022

Reps. DeFazio, Larsen, Beyers Applaud House Passage of Legislation Directing Aviation Sector to Plan for Future Pandemics

Washington, DC- Today, the House of Representatives passed the National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act of 2022, a bill within the jurisdiction of the committee.
“I applaud the House for passing the National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act, which will allow us to plan for future pandemics,” Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said. “The National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act will direct federal agencies and stakeholders to develop a national strategy to ensure the health and safety of airline passengers and the aviation workforce during future pandemics. I applaud Reps. Rick Larsen and Don Beyer, whose work on this piece of legislation was instrumental. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill without delay.”
“Seven years ago, a Government Accountability Office study I requested during the emergence of Ebola found the U.S. lacks a comprehensive plan aimed at preventing and containing diseases through air travel and the U.S. should develop such a plan as soon as possible. Lessons learned from the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics show the urgent need for a plan to ensure the safety of aviation crews, employees and passengers during future public health emergencies,” Aviation Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA) said. “I look forward to continue working with Rep. Beyer and my colleagues to get this bill over the finish line to keep the traveling public healthy and safe.”
“A national aviation preparedness plan been could have saved lives at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic with a stronger, quicker response. It is imperative that we learn from those mistakes to do better in the future, because it is extremely unlikely that Covid will be the last pandemic," Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) said. "House passage of this bill today is a big step toward answering the need for a coordinated national strategy to prevent spread of disease by air travel, a crucial element for pandemic response identified by government watchdogs and the U.N., among others. I thank Rep. Larsen for his leadership on this legislation, and urge the Senate to send it to the President for signature." 
More information on H.R. 884:
H.R. 884, National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act of 2022 
H.R. 884, introduced by Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen and Rep. Don Beyer, would require the development of a national strategy to ensure the safety of airline passengers and the aviation workforce during future pandemics. This bill would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, to develop a National Aviation Preparedness Plan. The bill also mandates improved coordination between federal agencies, identification of strategies to stop the spread of communicable disease outbreaks, and increased collaboration between U.S. air carriers, airports, aviation workers, and the DOT and other federal agencies to ensure a more effective response to future pandemics.