Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Blair), the newly minted Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on Wednesday traveled to Philadelphia International Airport to meet with Mayor Michael Nutter and Congressman Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) and tour the airport’s expanding facilities.
Rep. Shuster, who helped usher the GOP’s transportation spending bill through the House last spring, hailed PHL as a job generator and said he’s looking forward to working to ensure that future legislation serves to benefit the airport and Southeast Pennsylvania region.
The Blair County Republican, whose father Bud served as Transportation Chair from 1995 to 2001, said Rep. Meehan had doggedly insisted for weeks that the younger Shuster make the trip to Philadelphia to tour the airport and meet with local officials.
Emphasizing the airport’s role in maintaining Philadelphia’s global competitiveness, Nutter hailed recently approved $734 million in new investment at PHL as a “signal that we’re all dedicated to moving forward with projects crucial to the region.” The mayor predicted that the influx of money and projects would fuel the Delaware Valley’s economy throughout the next decade by creating engineering, construction, manufacturing and supplier jobs.
Rep. Meehan struck largely the same tone, saying that planned expansions at the airport would bring tens of thousands of jobs and would represent the biggest economic development project in the Philadelphia region over the next five to ten years.
Neighboring local officials — including Delaware County Councilman John McBlain, Tinicum Township Manager David Schreiber and Commissioner Pat Barr — were also in attendance.