Rural aviation office would be established by Senate bill

A bill in Congress would create the Office of Rural Aviation.
A bill in Congress would create the Office of Rural Aviation.
Communities that use farm equipment may also benefit from a bill passed recently by the Senate.

The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act was passed by the Senate recently. The measure would increase the funding authorized for the Essential Air Service by $48 million.

A new office would also be created within the U.S. Department of Transportation that would work on developing longer EAS for certain communities. The Office of Rural Aviation would compare EAS applications.

Along with rural concerns, the bill addresses aviation needs as a whole by moving a new air tracking system forward. The NextGen system will help replace radar tracking with a satellite system.

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller said that people across the country need to have a connection with the nation's aviation system.

"Our aviation system moves 30,000 flights a day and more than 700 million people per year and our air traffic control system is already stretched to the limit - we need to focus on modernization and safety oversight to make sure that we have the safest, most efficient and secure aviation system in the world," Rockefeller said.

The government has made other efforts in order to help improve rural communities. For example, funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been made available in order to improve broadband connectivity in remote communities.