Everglades and China Featured on Provisions of Senate FAA Reauthorization Bill

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 14, 2024

The US Senate’s recently passed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill includes provisions addressing Chinese threats and environmental concerns in the Everglades.

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) lobbied for the inclusion of such language in the FAA bill, which reauthorizes the same until 2028.

On the Everglades front, the bill will prohibit civil aviation at Homestead Air Reserve Base. The base is currently being exclusively used for military purposes.

According to Senator Rubio, preventing civilian aircraft from using the base will protect the mission of the base and preserve nearby critical Everglades lands from potential development.

“The military mission at Homestead must be preserved to defend the United States from threats in the Western Hemisphere and to stave off development on crucial lands important to Everglades restoration,” said Rubio.

The Homestead Base shares land with two national parks: Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.

Together, both parks contain nearly two million acres of untouched wilderness.

Rubio’s provisions for the FAA reauthorization also prohibit the FAA from purchasing Chinese technology such as drones and boarding bridges.

The drone purchase prohibition applies to drones manufactured in ‘covered’ nations, which include the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and the Republic of Cuba.

Finally, Rubio also managed to include statutory language requiring all aircraft to carry naloxone kits in their onboard medical kits.

According to public authorities, Naloxone medication can save someone’s life by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose.

The reauthorization bill now heads to the House of Representatives for approval.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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