Senate Bill Aims to Keep C-130s Flying

Washington Report

(August 5, 2014) Legislation introduced in the Senate would allow the Air Force to seek a more affordable overhaul of the C-130 aircraft's communication and navigation systems to keep them flying beyond a deadline for such improvements.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has bipartisan support for his bill, which he introduced last week. It joins a similar bill introduced earlier in the House by Rep. John Carney, D-Del. Both men have Air National Guard C-130 wings in their states.

The aircraft require upgrades in order to meet Federal Aviation Administration and international civil aviation regulations that take effect in 2020. Without the improvements, the aircraft could be grounded across much of the globe.

Currently, the Air Force is locked into a program of improvements that has proven more costly than expected. It wants to find a better way forward and the legislation in both chambers provides that option.

"This bill will keep C-130s flying without restriction for decades by giving the Air Force the flexibility it needs to modernize the fleet in a cost-effective and timely way," Tester said when introducing the bill.