-- In The News --
Published: 08 October 2014
Rep. John Carney, D-Del., is spending the congressional recess pushing his plan to allow the Air Force to target certain upgrades to the C-130H to keep the aircraft flying. He was in New Castle, Del., Monday to discuss the issue with National Guard leadership in his home state where the 166th Airlift Wing flies the venerable aircraft.
The lawmaker introduced legislation in July that would allow the Air Force to spend $2.5 million per aircraft to upgrade the navigation systems and meet changing international regulations that go into effect in 2020. Without the upgrades, the aircraft will be grounded. The bill went nowhere, however.
"We have a really compelling case, in my view," he told The News Journal Monday. "It's simple. Fiscally, it makes sense. And operationally, it makes sense. Basically, we give the Air Force the flexibility they need to make the best operational and financial decision."
Currently, a plan to upgrade the C-130H has suffered cost overruns and the Air Force wants to abandon it. The C-130 Modernization Act introduced by Carney and Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., would give the Air Force the ability to target only the improvements needed to meet changing international regulations.
So far, Carney has only six co-sponsors. A companion bill in the Senate has only nine. The first attempt failed to clear the committee process, but Carney says he will try again.
"I'm always an optimist," he told the newspaper.