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U.S. Sen. Manchin issues statement opposing FAA Reauthorization Act provision to add five new roundtrip flights at DCA

WASHINGTON, DC – On April 29, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement opposing the inclusion of a provision in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act to add five new roundtrip flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

“DCA is already one of the busiest airports in the United States and the consistent congestion on its runways has resulted in delays, cancellations and safety risks that have only worsened in recent years. In fact, the airport accommodates more than 10 million passengers annually above its intended capacity.

“Adding five new roundtrip flights would not only jeopardize passenger safety and increase delays and cancellations, it would also weaken access to small- and medium-sized communities within DCA’s perimeter, including those in West Virginia who rely on this airport for tourism and economic opportunities. DCA’s role in the Washington area’s airport system allows it to serve regional airports with shorter flights and smaller aircraft, and it is unacceptable that we would sacrifice this already strained connectivity for the added convenience of some lawmakers who live across the country. I will be pushing for a vote on an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act to remove this provision that prioritizes a few members of Congress over the 25 million Americans and visitors who pass through DCA every year. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me.”

DCA currently averages 819 overall daily commercial takeoffs and landings on a singular main runway. Designed to accommodate 15 million passengers annually, last year, DCA saw 25.5 million aircraft passengers come through its doors. In 2022, the airport had the third-worst cancellation rate among the nation’s busiest airports.

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