After voting to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Senator Jon Tester issued the following statement:

“This bipartisan bill will strengthen America’s national security, boost tourism, and support meaningful infrastructure investments in our state’s transportation system.  Our airports serve as gateways to Montana’s treasured places and as an important line of defense against folks who want to do us harm.  This bill is a strong step toward keeping families safe and encouraging economic growth.”

Tester successfully added several amendments to the FAA bill.

Tester’s first amendment authorizes a study to consider the feasibility of installing full body scanners in every airport across the country.  Currently, the Transportation Security Administration prioritizes installing full body scanners in urban airports, which has ‎left airports in Helena and Great Falls without the most up-to-date security equipment.

Additionally, Tester helped add an amendment to the bill that doubles the number of security teams monitoring baggage claims and check-in kiosks, and also increases law enforcement training for active shooter situations.

And Tester pushed for an amendment to crack down on air ambulance companies that are price gouging patients in crisis.  While the amendment was not added to the final FAA bill, the senator promised to look for ways to move his legislation forward in the upcoming appropriations process.

The FAA’s current authorization expires on July 15.  The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, which has yet to act on comparable legislation.