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Bangor Daily News: Investing in airport infrastructure

November 23, 2017

By Anthony Caruso & Ed Rendell

While there has been a lot of talk in Washington about needing to invest in our failing infrastructure, few tangible steps have been taken so far to actually make infrastructure investment a priority.

That is why we are pleased that Sen. Susan Collins has produced a transportation funding proposal to increase the passenger facility charge and bolsters the Airport Improvement Program to provide America’s airports with sustainable funding streams to upgrade their facilities, attract new air service and improve the passenger experience.

Airports across the country have identified $100 billion in infrastructure improvements they need to make over the next five years. In Bangor, this means developing a plan for future funding that will be utilized to support more than $30 million in necessary safety and capacity improvements. These infrastructure projects include runway and taxiway rehabilitation and terminal expansion to meet growing demand. These critical infrastructure investments are needed to keep Maine’s economy connected to the world’s air transportation network.

Collins understands that infrastructure investments lead directly to economic benefits for communities throughout Maine. The state’s airports support more than 19,000 jobs and have an annual economic output of $1.8 billion. With more than $320 million in infrastructure needs over the next five years, work at our airports has the potential to create another 7,000 jobs and millions more in economic output.

With so many politically divisive issues plaguing the country, it is refreshing to see Collins lead a bipartisan effort to modernize America’s aging infrastructure. Congress needs to take the next step and approve these essential infrastructure improvements. American travelers deserve updated facilities, lower airfares, shorter security lines and more airline competition. Let’s get to work.

Anthony Caruso
Director
Bangor International Airport
Bangor

Ed Rendell
Co-chair
Building America’s Future
Philadelphia