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House panel OKs extra aid for S.L. airport

SHARE House panel OKs extra aid for S.L. airport

A House panel adopted Thursday an amendment to allow airports in any U.S. city that just happens to be hosting an upcoming Olympics to qualify for more federal aid.

Of course, Salt Lake City is the only such city in the nation - and the only one that could benefit through that legislative maneuver by Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah.He attached an amendment to a one-year extension of the Airport Improvement Program to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to use discretionary funds to improve airports in Olympic cities.

His amendment says that helps protect "the national recognition and economic benefits" coming to the United States as one of its cities hosts an Olympics.

Cook, the only Utah member of Congress on a transportation committee, earlier this year included a similar provision in a bill signed into law for highway and mass transit projects too.

"I hope to accomplish something similar for the Salt Lake International Airport," he said after the House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation adopted his amendment.

"I think getting this amendment in the one-year extension is the place to start. I intend to try for similar amendment in either subsequent extensions or the six-year federal aviation bill we are slated to consider this year," he said.

"I believe this provision will give the FAA the flexibility and authority to make improvements at the Salt Lake International Airport a top priority as we approach the 2002 Games."