Friendly Airports for Mothers Act signed into law

Signal File Photo: Congressman Steve Knight speaks about his work in Washington during a public meeting. Dan Watson/For the Signal

The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, signed into law on Oct. 5, included provisions introduced by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, to establish a lactation area for mothers to breastfeed their children at airports.

The provisions originate from H.R. 2375, the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act, which Knight introduced in May 2017.

The law directs large- and medium-hub airports to maintain a “lactation area” in each passenger terminal to provide a private and hygienic location for mothers to breastfeed their children.

“Lactation areas: must be shielded from view and free from intrusion from the public; have a door that can be locked; include a place to sit, a table or other flat surface and an electrical outlet; be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; and not located in a restroom.”

The FAM Act passed the House of Representatives as part of the FAA Reauthorization bill in April and companion legislation was introduced by Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

“Then-Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth introduced this bill in the 114th Congress and I was one of the co-sponsors of the bill,” Knight said. “We had a good relationship with each other from working together on the House Armed Services Committee, and when she moved to the Senate for the 115th Congress, I was able to take the lead for this bill in the House.

“In our district, and around the country, families are increasingly on the move as air travel becomes cheaper and more options are available,” he said. “It’s important that young moms don’t have to sit out on these opportunities because they have to take care of their children.”


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