That bill follows one she got signed into law in 2018 _ part of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization _ that ensured medium and large airports could use their airport improvement dollars to build lactation rooms.
The federal action comes as the private sector looks for its own solutions. Burlington, Vermont-based Mamava Inc. has more than 1,000 portable lactation pods in public spots all over the country, including in John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York. The company incorporated in 2013.
Spokeswoman Ann Pechaver said Mamava has 164 pods in 56 airports. The pods are also in private businesses, malls, stadiums, museums and universities. Pods range in price from $9,000 to $30,000.
"Airports are definitely a place where moms need them," Pechaver said. "Nobody wants to make their baby’s food in the bathroom."
Annie Russo, senior vice president of government affairs for Airports Council International-North America, said airports were eager for the flexibility to use their improvement funds for lactation rooms.
She said Duckworth’s bill has launched a broader conversation about how airports can look at the passenger experience and the experience of traveling families.
Duckworth, she said, "had an issue, she called us right away, she worked with us as a trade association and as an industry and said, ‘I think we can do a better job here. How can we work together to address an issue that I had that other nursing moms are having?’ "
October 7, 2020 at 01:59PM