Senator Cornyn

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

May 17, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Gary Peters (D-MI) released the following statements after their Airport Infrastructure Resources (AIR) Security Act, which would permanently extend their 2023 law to prevent 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 FAA Reauthorization 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 permanently become law as part of the vital FAA reauthorization.”

“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. This version of the bill permanently institutes the Airport Infrastructure Resources (AIR) Security Act. An earlier version of the legislation became law in 2023 but included a date that it would expire.