Legislation designed to encourage the timely completion of airport construction projects is now working its way through Congress.
The Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2020 will allow for the use of incentive payments for projects that are funded through the federal Airport Improvement Program. It has now cleared both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as the larger House itself.
The legislative proposal is unusual in the sense that industry experts appear to unanimously agree that such incentives work, while at the same time the bill has not so far sparked any opposition.
A companion version of the bill was passed by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee unanimously.
“Incentive payments have been proven to be effective in other areas of construction,” noted Jeff Davis, a senior fellow with the Eno Center for Transportation.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Davis added: “The nature of heavy construction is that time is money. The longer that a project takes from conception to completion, the more the cost goes up.”
The measure particularly allows airports to use up to $1 million to incentivize any given project.
“This is a smart reform that already works for road and bridge project construction,” said Missouri Representative Sam Graves, the sponsor of the legislation in the House.
In a statement, Graves continued: “Delivering airport projects ahead of schedule can help save money and essentially provide a similar impact as increasing investment without any additional federal resources.”
The measure is now awaiting final approval in the full Senate.
By Garry Boulard
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