Senator Cornyn

Cornyn, Peters Bill to Protect U.S. Transportation Infrastructure from Chinese Espionage Signed into Law

December 22, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Gary Peters (D-MI) released the following statements after their legislation to extend the Airport Infrastructure Resources (AIR) Security Act for one year, which prevents government grants from being used to subsidize the purchase of airport infrastructure like jet bridges from hostile governments, was signed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“The national security threat China and other adversaries pose to our transportation industry cannot be underestimated,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation will ensure government grants aren’t used to subsidize the purchase of airport infrastructure from hostile governments, and I’m glad to see it signed into law.”

“We must protect our nation’s transportation sector against security threats from the Chinese government and other hostile governments,” said Sen. Peters. “As airports across the country continue to receive federal investments to make critical improvements, this provision will help ensure these vital projects are not purchasing airport equipment from adversarial governments.”


In 1998, Chinese jet bridge manufacturer CIMC-Tianda was found guilty of intellectual property (IP) theft of U.S. jet bridge manufacturer Jetway Systems and banned from U.S. markets for 10 years. Since the ban has expired, CIMC-Tianda has reemerged in U.S. markets and started bidding on airport projects in Miami, Orlando, Boston, and Dallas.

Originally introduced by Sen. Cornyn in 2020, the Airport Infrastructure Resources (AIR) Security Act will help prevent CIMC-Tianda and other bad actors from influencing U.S. transportation infrastructure by prohibiting airport improvement project grants from being used to enter into a contract for the acquisition of passenger boarding bridge equipment at an airport with any entity that has violated the IP rights of U.S. entities.