After delayed convening of the 118th US House of Representatives, the Republican majority is busy electing chairpersons to committees.

Rep. Sam Graves (Missouri) was selected to serve as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Committee’s jurisdiction includes all modes of transportation including the US aviation system, and FAA. The congressional veteran is also a member of the Congressional General Aviation Caucus. 

Graves has a record of supporting focused legislation to enhance commercial aviation. In one case, last September, Graves co-sponsored a bill to allow Airport Improvement Program funds to be used to incentivize the early completion of critical runway and airport projects. Graves stated, “One of my highest priorities is a bipartisan, long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and aviation programs. As a professional pilot, I know firsthand just how important a strong US aviation system is in connecting our large, small, and rural communities to each other and the rest of the world. Aviation is a major sector of our economy, and we must ensure our Nation remains the world’s gold standard in safety and at the forefront of incorporating new technologies into the system.”

Graves has been a proponent of the broader commercial aviation industry. Indeed, at a House Hearing on the State of General Aviation in the US, the congressman noted that from his vantage point, “the general aviation fleet is comprised of business jets, fixed-wing piston engine aircraft, rotorcraft, lighter-than-air, and light sport aircraft. That’s a diverse set of aircraft, each with its own varying levels of pilot training and certification.” More telling, he then declared, “Congress has a vested interest in making certain that general aviation remains robust and healthy. From ensuring student pilots make the leap to private pilot, to educating grade-school students about well-paying careers in aviation, to ensuring airspace access in rural communities, to improving aviation safety, we must ensure that the general aviation community has the tools and resources that it needs to flourish for decades to come.”