Commerce Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5467

Title:

AN ACT CREATING A WORKFORCE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AROUND CONNECTICUT'S PUBLIC AIRPORTS.

Vote Date:

3/27/2012

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/15/2012

File No.:

397

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Commerce Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

Current law authorizes several initiatives for preserving the state's licensed, privately-owned airports that have paved runways and conduct at least 5,000 operations per year. The initiatives include establishing an airport zoning category for Federal Aviation Administration – (FAA) defined “imaginary surfaces,” areas that extend upward and outward from runways where obstructions deemed hazardous to navigation are prohibited.

The bill requires proposed developments in these zones to be assessed for their environmental effects, as defined by FAA regulations and federal Environmental Protection Agency standards. In addition to the law's ban on constructing objects in the zones that are hazardous to navigation, the bill requires environmental compatibility planning to address land use actions needed to mitigate adverse environmental impacts.

Effective Date: July 1, 2012

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Sen. Carlo Leone, Twenty-Seventh District

Sen. Leone testified in support of the bill stating “If passed, satisfying the need to make our surrounding airports safer and improving the quality of life for surrounding residents and businesses by upgrading noise-reduction is an opportunity to take advantage of training that is already in existence. Combining both the FAA direction and funding, along with ARRA DOE funding and current experience of our new skilled resources, I believe we, at the state level can make this combination of an existing trained workforce, along with the continued investment of this training and new industry, a synergetic combination of resources.” Sen. Leone concluded by adding “It would allow the combining federal resources in a novel way at the state level that I hope could be a new standard model of innovative thinking in CT.”

Rep. Timothy D. Larson, Eleventh District

Rep. Larson testified in support of the bill stating “The genesis of this bill is to accomplish many things. First of all make homes more quiet and energy efficient and the neighborhoods around our airports more livable as well as providing a job program for our veterans. We are currently in discussion with DEEP Commissioner Esty and Senator Blumenthal on trying to coordinate a pilot program with the FAA and DOE to incorporate these two programs. This new language will provide an incentive for the FAA and the DOE to work with the state to develop this program. By connecting these two programs and identifying the area around airports we gain tremendous value. This additional language relies on Federal Funding and encourages the DOE and the FAA to combine their programs into one effort.” Rep. Larson concluded by adding “As we are currently aware, the new home construction industry is flat and we have many training programs for our veterans. This program will provide the home remodeling industry a platform to make these installations. It would be our intention to require those companies that do this type of work to hire veterans. The retro fitting of these homes with American made products such as new energy efficiency HVAC will reduce the energy and cost to homeowner and create great opportunity for jobs and make the homes around the airports much more livable.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

None

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: George Harlamon

Date: 4/18/12