May 15, 2024

Congressman Castro Secures Key Wins for San Antonio in FAA Reauthorization

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, with key wins secured by Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) that will improve opportunities for San Antonio’s small businesses to participate in federally-funded airport contracts and expand travel options for military and business travelers who bring jobs and economic growth to San Antonio.

“Today’s bipartisan vote to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration is great news for San Antonio, military families, and the small businesses that power our economy,” said Congressman Castro. “For the last several years, I’ve been working to expand opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses to compete for the public contracts funded with their taxpayer dollars. I’m very proud that this bill includes my bipartisan amendment (co-authored with Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar) to improve transparency within the FAA Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program and level the playing field for small businesses. San Antonio’s congressional delegation has also worked hard to open the door for direct flights from San Antonio to our nation’s capital, and I’m glad to see that progress come through after years of bipartisan work. After President Biden signs this reauthorization into law, I look forward to working with our delegation to make sure San Antonio secures the direct flights we need to support our servicemembers and bring more jobs and business to our city.”

Supporting Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 includes bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Castro and Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar (FL-27) that would improve transparency and opportunity within the FAA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The amendment requires the FAA to make publicly available on its website the Uniform Report of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) Awards/Commitments and Payments for each airport sponsor.

Once signed into law, the amendment will facilitate better Congressional oversight of the FAA’s procurement processes to ensure that small businesses owned by women and minorities have a fair shot at competing for contracts funded by taxpayer dollars. Currently, less than 20 percent of federally assisted transportation contracts are awarded to small minority-owned businesses. 

Direct Flights from San Antonio to Washington D.C.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 would additionally authorize ten new direct flights to Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), the nearest airport to Washington D.C and the Pentagon. This authorization is an important step to secure nonstop service from San Antonio, which is the largest U.S. city without direct service to the nation’s capital. Alongside other members of the San Antonio delegation, Congressman Castro has pushed for this change for several years to improve travel options for the thousands of military and business travelers who fly between San Antonio and Washington D.C. each year.