Press Releases

Press releases are archived according to their release date. For press releases by topic, please see the Issue Positions page.

Washington, D.C.—Tuesday afternoon the Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act, legislation that will make key improvements to the nation’s air transportation infrastructure. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior Republican in the United States Senate, authored several provisions that will directly benefit Utahns and travelers nationwide.  

“As Utah grows, I’ve worked hard to help our infrastructure grow with it,” Hatch said. “This bill includes crucial improvements that will make traveling to and from Utah easier and safer, and will help some of Utah’s smaller airports--such as Logan and Provo—expand and develop to meet the needs of our growing population centers and Utah’s thriving $7.8 billion tourism economy. Our legislation also puts Americans' safety first, by addressing the threats terrorist groups pose to airline passengers and those on the ground.”

Utah Air Transportation Facts:

  • Utah has 47 airports: 37 General Aviation, 4 Primary Commercial, and 3 Reliever airports.
    • Senator Hatch cosponsored a provision to help small and rural airports (particularly those in Utah) obtain necessary TSA services and equipment if certain qualifications are met.  
  • Many Airports in Utah have begun or are planning new development or expansion projects.
    • Senator Hatch worked to ensure that FAA dollars are available for expansion projects at Salt Lake Internatinoal Airport, as well as small and medium-sized airports, such as Logan/Cache Valley and Provo.
  • Utah has a thriving general aviation community, with 7,969 pilots, 2,601 general aviation aircraft, 43 fixed-base operations, 30 repair stations, 146 helicopters, 20 FAA-Approved pilot schools, 1,731 student pilots and 1,510 flight instructors.
    • Senator Hatch was an original co-sponsor of a Pilots Bill of Rights provision included in the bill, which will potentially help thousands of general aviation pilots in Utah by saving them time and money in managing their health and fitness to fly.
  • Utah’s has a $7.89 billion tourism industry, which relies heavily on air travel.

Statements of Support: 

Maureen Riley, Executive Director, Salt Lake International Airport  

"We have worked closely with Senator Hatch to ensure a clear path forward for the federal role in Salt Lake City International Airport's Terminal Redevelopment Program. With today's passage of the Senate FAA Reauthorization bill, we are one step closer to providing stability for the Airport Improvement Program funding necessary for SLC's project and other important safety and security projects at airports across the country.” 

Kelly Harvey, Manager, Vernal Regional Airport; Judd Hill, Manager, Canyonlands Field Airport (Moab) 

“We are grateful to Senator Hatch for cosponsoring the 'Treating Small Airports with Fairness Act’ which passed the Senate today, as part of the Senate FAA Reauthorization bill.  This language will help multiple communities in Utah and rural commercial airports through out the United States to gain more commercial air service and ensure that TSA screening services at some rural airports will return. Providing security at small airports with commercial service, will boost the local economies where it is implemented by increasing the accessibility of the general traveling public to those effected communities.” 

Dave Wayment, General Aviation Pilot 

“I’d like to recognize Senator Hatch’s support of the Pilot Bill of Right’s 2 – third class medical reform language, which was included in the Senate-passed FAA Reauthorization bill. This language is a long-over due win for the general aviation (GA) community, which maintains pilot safety while cutting burdensome bureaucratic red tape. Also included in this FAA bill are provisions which help the GA community through streamlined certification for light GA aircraft, help to install modern safety equipment in legacy aircraft, and importantly does not include language increasing user fees for general aviation. Senator Hatch’s involvement to pass this bill is greatly appreciated.”

Vicki Varela, Managing Director, Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding

“Safe, efficient and reliable air travel is essential to the continued growth of Utah’s $7.89 billion tourism economy. I appreciate Senator Hatch’s role in working to pass a bipartisan FAA Reauthorization bill in the Senate.”