Bipartisan Voices Call for Robust Infrastructure Funding | Global Trade Magazine
Commentary
  May 16th, 2017 | Written by

Bipartisan Voices Call for Robust Infrastructure Funding

Infrastructure Week Kicks Off at the Philadelphia International Airport

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  • Philadelphia International Airport hosted an event to kick off Infrastructure Week.
  • US airports contribute $1.1 trillion dollars to the economy each year.
  • “It is time to build and start prioritizing infrastructure.”

The Philadelphia International Airport hosted Building America’s Future and Airports Council International – North America yesterday, along with numerous members of the Philadelphia congressional delegation, to kick off the fifth annual Infrastructure Week.

In a press conference and behind-the-scenes tour of the Philadelphia International Airport, a group of bipartisan voices called for robust infrastructure investment that includes a significant funding component for airports. Starting at the Baggage Claim F facility – the most recently completed capital project at Philadelphia International Airport – speakers and participants discussed the needs for an infrastructure package that can transform the nation’s airports into modern and efficient hubs of activity. Following the press conference, participants were given a tour of other ongoing and needed projects at the airport.

Contributing more than $1.1 trillion dollars to the economy each year, US airports are engines of economic growth for communities across the country. Airports employ more than 1.2 million workers and support nearly 10 million additional jobs, totaling $360 billion in annual wages. But at an average age of 40 years old, US airports have an estimated $100 billion in infrastructure needs over the next five years.

“We are proud to host this event today, which focuses on increasing investment in our nation’s airports in order to compete in the 21st century global economy,” said Chellie Cameron, CEO of the Philadelphia International Airport. “Securing sustainable funding for new capital projects is vital for Philadelphia International Airport to remain competitive into the future and for the growth of our regional economy.”

“Our roads are riddled with potholes, our bridges are structurally deficient and our airports lack the sufficient capacity to move passengers and cargo efficiently,” said Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania Governor an co-chair of Building America’s Future. “That’s why there is no better time to build than now. The $1 trillion plan that President Trump has talked about is a good start, but our needs are much greater. We need a strategic and long term plan that addresses the challenges of the 21st century, offers economic benefits, increases public safety and creates well-paying jobs.”

“America’s airports are a fundamental component of our nation’s transportation infrastructure,” said Kevin M. Burke, President and CEO of Airports Council International – North America. “At the same time, US airports have significant infrastructure needs – nearly $100 billion in needs over the next five years – that must be met if we are to maintain our leadership position in the global aviation system. We urge Congress and President Trump to work together to develop a comprehensive infrastructure plan that provides airports with greater local control to make their own investment decisions.”

Along with other airports across the country, Philadelphia International Airport is trying to align current funding resources with growing infrastructure needs to help close the identified $10 billion a year funding gap for airport infrastructure improvements. “It is time to build, start working together, and start prioritizing infrastructure,” said Burke.

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