Founded in 1909, the Aero Club of Washington, DC, has had a consistent mission for more than a century: the advancement of aviation. So, when I addressed the club yesterday—with members from airlines, airports, manufacturers, labor, and government--we had that interest in common. In fact, the federal commitment to the aviation industry is considerably stronger today than it was when aviation was in its infancy and the Aero Club first opened its doors.
And the reasons for that are clear: civil aviation contributes $1.3 trillion to the American economy. But the industry's role as an economic engine doesn't end there. Air travel is critical to business, to the expedited delivery we take for granted, and to tourism. Because of that, our use of airports and airplanes will grow in the coming years.
Unfortunately, we cannot magically expand our skies, and we can't expand our airports and runways fast enough to keep pace. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, congestion and delays at airports will cost the economy $63 billion per year by 2040. How can we accommodate the anticipated increase in aviation demand?
We can manage our airspace more efficiently with the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System --NextGen...
On your next visit to FAA.gov, you’ll notice that the Federal Aviation Administration’s website has received a “FAAcelift” with a new homepage and redesigned look and feel. These upgrades give pilots, mechanics and the flying public improved access to the most popular web content, while improving usability, readability and visual design.
Users can quickly look up an aircraft's registration- or N-Number, check for airport status and delays, and easily search for FAA policies and regulatory guidance. The latest aviation news and agency updates are featured at the top of the page, and a new dedicated area for NextGen puts the future of aviation at your fingertips.
The new page is WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant, which means you will see larger font sizes and color contrast levels that make the page easier on the eyes. These readability features have been standardized across FAA.gov to provide one of the highest accessibility ratings in government today...
You've seen the apps. The commuter at the bus stop is using one. The father shopping for a safe car is using one. The student booking spring break bus travel is using one. I'm not talking about Plants vs. Zombies or Candy Crush 2; I'm talking about the apps that put useful transportation information --real-time transit arrivals, 5-star car safety ratings, motorcoach safety records-- in the palms of our hands.
Although good transportation apps have been created, we also know that a nation like ours can do more.
That's why, today, we're launching our Data Innovation Challenge.
When most people talk about Black History Month, transportation is probably not the first topic that comes to mind. But being able to move from Point A to Point B is at the very core of our nation’s historical emphasis on mobility—whether social, economic, or geographic.
Access to transportation means access to family and friends, employment, health care, and education. It means access to opportunity.
As both a parent and the Secretary of Transportation, I know the importance of providing safe transportation to our nation's children as they go to school each day. For millions of America's children and teens, that means the familiar yellow school bus.
And on Friday, at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point, NC, I joined Principal Ashton Wheeler Clemmons, Guilford County School Superintendent Maurice Green, and High Point Mayor Bernita Sims in a Love The Bus celebration to give those buses and their drivers the thanks they deserve.
The data on school transportation are clear--the safest way to get our most precious cargo to school and home each day is on a large school bus with a well-trained driver.
As part of DOT’s comprehensive response to recent derailments of trains carrying crude oil, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a call-to-action meeting with the rail community last month to identify immediate steps that could be taken to improve safety. Today, little more than a month later, DOT and the nation's major freight railroads announced steps to help ensure that crude oil transported by rail moves safely from its origin to its destination.
Railroads have agreed to:
- Increased track inspections--beyond what is required by federal regulations--on routes with trains carrying 20 or more carloads of crude oil;
- Better braking technology allowing for faster stopping and a decreased likelihood of pileup;
- Traffic routing technology that uses the Rail Corridor Risk Management System to determine the safest and most secure routes for trains carrying 20 or more carloads of crude oil;
- Lower speeds through designated urban areas for trains carrying at least one older DOT-111 car; and
- Other steps including working with communities along crude oil rail transport routes, increased trackside safety technology, specialized training for local first responders, and emergency response capability planning.
I was thrilled to be back in Los Angeles yesterday on behalf of Secretary Foxx to sign a $670 million grant award with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) for a truly game-changing project called the Regional Connector.
And it was great to be joined on this red-letter day by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman Xavier Becerra, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Mayor Eric Garcetti— all great champions for public transportation.
This is the latest in a growing list of public transportation projects transforming this region for the better by improving access to jobs, education, health care, and other ladders of opportunity that help hard-working residents achieve their dreams...
Just about every mayor in America can tell a story about a business considering locating in his or her city, with hundreds, sometimes thousands of jobs in the balance. Invariably, the business representative will bring up a road, a curb cut, or bridge that needs to be built or repaired to make a potential site work.
This morning, I had the opportunity to speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and my message to those business leaders was the same as it was when I was a mayor: "We want to build the transportation infrastructure that supports the economic growth and jobs you create."
During the past few months, I have been extraordinarily fortunate to visit several of America's ports with both President Obama and Vice President Biden. Yesterday, when Vice President Biden and I visited America's Central Port in Granite City, Illinois, we were both fortunate to be joined by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and--in particular--by a favorite son of Illinois and a favorite of the U.S. Department of Transportation, former Secretary Ray LaHood.
Being joined by former Secretary LaHood at America's Central Port is special because he is one of only a few people who know how good a job I have--in fact, he has said more than once that being Secretary was the best job of his three decades in public service. It's also special because he knows as well as anyone how important America's interior ports are to the future of our nation's economy.
Yesterday, we all had the chance to see America's Central Port, including the construction underway at the new South Harbor. When it’s finished, the project will connect four interstate highways and major rail lines so that businesses can move their goods faster from the factory to the river and then down the river to market.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama committed to a Year of Action in which he would do what he can to expand opportunity for all so that every American can get ahead and have a shot at creating a better life for their kids. As part of that, he promised to set "new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump."
Today, the President followed up on that promise by setting the timetable for the Administration's second round of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy vehicles, which will bolster energy security, cut carbon pollution, and support manufacturing innovation, all while saving businesses and consumers money.
As a result, DOT and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by March of next year, with the new greenhouse gas standards--covering the 2018 model year and beyond--becoming final by March 2016...