Rosen Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Airports Maintain Access to Funding

Legislation Will Help Ensure Small-To-Medium-Sized Airports, Like Reno-Tahoe Airport, Keep Access To Federal Funding

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced the introduction of the Dependable Airport Classification Act to help provide more certainty to small-to-medium-sized airports, like Reno-Tahoe International Airport, about their access to federal funding. This bipartisan bill will allow newly reclassified medium-sized airports a five-year window during which they can choose to keep their small-hub airport classification to continue accessing the same level of federal funding. Under current federal law, an airport that goes from being classified as a small-sized airport to a medium-sized airport can often see a significant drop in funding, with only a small increase in revenue. 

“Nevada’s airports are critical gateways for our state’s travel and tourism economy. But due to arbitrary federal rules and bureaucratic red tape, airports growing in size like Reno-Tahoe International are at risk of losing much-needed federal funding,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to help introduce bipartisan legislation to cut through red tape and provide our airports more certainty and stability in federal funding so they can continue to grow, bringing in more visitors to our state.”

“RNO has seen tremendous growth in passengers since the pandemic. However, under current law, airports like ours are actually penalized for this growth, resulting in fewer federal grant funds,” said Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority President and CEO Daren Griffin, A.A.E. “We want to thank Senator Rosen for her leadership in providing a solution to this issue which would provide more funding certainty and help us meet the needs today and in the future.”

Senator Rosen has been leading the fight to ensure Nevada’s airports have access to all funding options they may need to accommodate the high volume of visitors. During a recent visit to Reno-Tahoe Airport, Senator Rosen urged the Department of Transportation to stand ready to receive the airport’s application for federal funds for a terminal expansion project. Senator Rosen also secured $31 million for terminal improvements at Harry Reid International Airport from the Airport Terminal Program of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law she helped draft and pass into law.