Global aviation industry seeks share of U.S. infrastructure package

FILE PHOTO: Alan Pellegrini, CEO and president of Thales USA speaks during a panel discussion at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

(Reuters) – Global aviation companies made a plea on Wednesday for funding under a roughly $2 trillion U.S. infrastructure package proposed by President Joe Biden to revamp the economy, saying a cycle of modernization in the sector is long overdue.

“Now is the time to reassess longstanding aviation infrastructure investment priorities and to fund critical projects,” Alan Pellegrini, head of the U.S. division of French defense and aerospace group Thales SA, said at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce aviation summit.

Other speakers included the chief executives of leading U.S. airlines and aerospace companies.

Biden’s overall infrastructure plan will include hundreds of billions of dollars devoted to building and repairing roads, bridges, mass transit, schools and other infrastructure, according to details released by the White House earlier on Wednesday.

But Biden’s plan to finance the package with higher corporate taxes faces hurdles in Congress from Republicans who say it will kill jobs and from some of his fellow Democrats who want a bigger write-off for state and local taxes.

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