February 15, 2018

Warner & Kaine Push For Nearly $4 Million Owed To Richmond International Airport For Security Upgrades

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined colleagues in a letter to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security asking that they include funding in the Homeland Security appropriations bill to reimburse Richmond International Airport for screening systems purchased to increase security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Richmond’s airport took this step in 2005 to protect passenger safety and was promised a reimbursement, but has yet to be paid.

“In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and with the encouragement and oversight of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), several airports installed in-line baggage screening systems with the expectation and promise that they would be reimbursed for their early action.  Regrettably, these airports have still not been repaid,” the Senators wrote. “With the costs now validated, it is appropriate to begin providing funds for reimbursement.”

Warner and Kaine first asked Boozman and Tester to include funding for Richmond International Airport in the FY 2018 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill in May 2017. Preliminary data shows that a number of airports are still owed more than $217 million.

The full text of the letter can be found here and appears below:

 

February 7, 2018

The Honorable John Boozman, Chairman

The Honorable Jon Tester, Ranking Member

Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Boozman and Ranking Member Tester:

As you work to finalize the FY 2018 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, we urge you to include funding to begin reimbursing airports that took early action to install in-line baggage screening systems but have not yet received compensation for these critical security investments.

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and with the encouragement and oversight of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), several airports installed in-line baggage screening systems with the expectation and promise that they would be reimbursed for their early action.  Regrettably, these airports have still not been repaid. 

We are grateful for the Subcommittee’s inclusion of report language this year and in prior years to require the TSA to quantify the amount the affected airports are owed and to establish a plan to repay these costs.  That process has confirmed that airports are owed at least $217 million but has not identified any resources to begin reimbursements. With the costs now validated, it is appropriate to begin providing funds for reimbursement. We urge you to commit as much funding as possible for that purpose in the final Homeland Security appropriations bill for FY 2018.

Thank you for your consideration of this request and your efforts to help our airports receive what they are owed.

                                                                        Sincerely,

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