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House-Passed Measure Clears Way for Saint Marys Airport Move

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Washington, May 18, 2016 | Mary Carpenter (202-834-0386) | comments
The U.S. House of Representatives has adopted legislation which, among other things, provides for the long sought relocation of the Saint Marys Airport.

Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga) sponsored an amendment to the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) providing $6 million to allow for the move.  The airport has long created security concerns for Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.  For the first time, however, the Department of Defense has signaled it was willing to assume a portion of the costs associated with the transfer.

"Kings Bay is not only a vital strategic asset for our national security but an economic engine for our area,” Carter said. "The legislation passed today will relieve these security concerns while releasing the City of Saint Marys from financial hardship associated with relocating the airport to a more suitable location.  While this is an important move, it is only the first step and I pledge to work with the community to bring a new general aviation airport online as soon as possible."

If signed in to law, the amended legislation would authorize the Department of Defense to use the funding to free the City of Saint Marys from financial obligations to the Federal Aviation Administration.  The city would otherwise be required to pay financial penalties for past improvements at the existing facility.

The NDAA is the primary way Congress meets its most important constitutional obligations to "provide for the common defense." The legislation sets defense policy for the year and offers a $610.5 billion defense spending blueprint. The legislation increases troop pay and benefits, supports missions to defeat ISIS, and restores the readiness of our military. 
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