FAA bill adds flight to PDX and D.C.

The U.S. Senate’s passage of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill late Thursday night includes allowances that could add 16 new daily round trip flights between Portland and Washington, D.C., as well as protections for Crater Lake and other components.The new flights would be between Reagan National Airport and destinations that are at least 1,250 miles away. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said the measure could boost access to airports such as Portland International Airport from the nation’s capital.

After lengthy and difficult negotiations, the door is now open for much-needed improved commercial air service between western cities and Washington, D.C.,he said in a statement.The bill also eliminates some air tour flyovers for Crater Lake, which critics say have harmed the south-central Oregon national park’s environment. The National Park Service will now have the ability to deny air tours over Crater Lake National Park without first preparing an air tour management plan.This means that the skies above Oregon will be open for business, but not at the expense of one of the nation’s treasured national parks,Wyden said in a statement.

The measure further increases the number of testing sites for civilian unmanned vehicle uses from four to six. Unmanned vehicles help fight drug trafficking, aid in search and rescue operations, and improve border security.The bill also includes a Wyden provision that requires all airport master plans developed with federal Airport Improvement Program funding to offer solid waste recycling …

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