Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), a long-time supporter of airport infrastructure investment, has been elected chairman of the important House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the new Democratically controlled 116th Congress.

The move won praise from Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) President and CEO Kevin Burke, who notes, “As a key original architect of the locally set Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) user fee, Chairman DeFazio has a deep understanding of how modernized airport infrastructure provides travelers with more choices, lower airfares, and a better airport experience.”

DeFazio, who’s served in Congress since 1987, vows to use his position to address what he describes as a transportation crisis in the country.

“As Chairman, I will be a tireless advocate for the kind of infrastructure investment that results in job creation, increased economic growth, and decreased emissions,” he said in a statement. “I will fight for common sense, comprehensive solutions to address the major issues facing our aging, 20th century infrastructure and champion a smarter, greener infrastructure that helps to reduce carbon pollution, and is more resilient and better equipped to handle the impacts of climate change.”