The Expedited Delivery of Airport Infrastructure Act of 2020 has been deemed “uncontroversial” by political pundits. It seems to be sailing through committees with bipartisan support to get major construction projects underway for airport construction and expansion.
The bill, which allows airport construction projects funded by the Airport Improvement Program to use incentive payments to ensure timely completion of construction jobs, passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on a voice vote, meaning no significant opposition to the bill. On October 1, it passed the House vote also by a voice vote. Companion legislation cleared the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
Despite the house being controlled by Democrats, the bill was proposed by a Republican, Rep Sam Graves of Missouri, and is embraced by both parties. The most significant selling point that the bill has is that it pays for itself: it is projected that it will add $0 to the national deficit.
Early reports from the White House indicate nothing that would stop President Trump from signing the bill into law.
The reason for the lack of political battle is that the incentive payments are relatively standard and have a proven track record of saving money.
“Incentive payments have been proven to be effective in other areas of construction. The nature of heavy construction is that time is money. The longer that a project takes from conception to completion, the more the cost goes up,” said Jeff Davis, senior fellow for the Eno Center for Transportation.
Annie Russo, senior vice president of government affairs at the Airports Council International of North America, said: “Reducing the time it takes to complete airport infrastructure projects helps minimize disruptions that negatively impact airlines, passengers, and other airport tenants. Completing projects early will be particularly helpful to airports in northern tier states with short construction cycles.”