Tags: Congress | May | Act | Reopen | Reagan | Airport

Congress May Act to Reopen Reagan Airport

Thursday, 27 September 2001 12:00 AM

Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), whose congressional district includes the airport, said Wednesday he would introduce legislation next Monday to reopen it, if the Bush administration does not take action in the meantime.

"If we don't know anything by the beginning of next week, I'm going to move forward," Moran said.

The legislation, Moran said, would be an amendment to an anti-terrorism bill.

Moran said he supported the decision of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, the FAA, and the Washington Regional Airport Authority to keep Reagan National closed until security can be improved.

"At the same time, however, it is equally clear that our ultimate objective must be the re-opening of National Airport as quickly as strong safety precautions permit."

Moran thinks if the airport doesn't reopen soon, it will be a victory for the terrorists.

"Closing National Airport would seriously imperil the effective functioning of the federal government, the military, and Washington's private sector economy. It would had the perpetrators the kind of result they sought," said Moran.

Reopening the airport would have economic benefits as well, according to Moran.

He noted that the airport is a major hub for air traffic on the East Coast and for the entire nation, with some 600 commercial flights each day. "National supports more than 10,000 jobs and generates an estimated $5 billion in economic activity," Moran said.

Rep. Constance Morella (R-Md.), another Washington-area member of Congress, is still awaiting the Bush administration's decision on the airport. If it is not reopened soon, Morella will work on legislation with Moran to get it operating, an aide said.

The Federal Aviation Administration refused comment on the fate of Reagan National Airport on Thursday, referring all calls to the FBI and the National Security Agency at the White House.

The FBI had no comment at this time, according to a spokesperson. The National Security Agency had no comment, either.

However, the Washington Times reported Thursday that Bush administration officials had told airport area members of Congress that they expected the airport to reopen but were waiting for two reports on airport and airline security before setting a firm date.

Those reports, according to the paper, were ordered by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and are due Monday.

The Transportation Department had no comment, according to a spokesperson.

Copyright 2001

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Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), whose congressional district includes the airport, said Wednesday he would introduce legislation next Monday to reopen it, if the Bush administration does not take action in the meantime. If we don't know anything by the beginning of next week,...
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2001-00-27
Thursday, 27 September 2001 12:00 AM
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