FAA Reauthorization Bill Ready for Biden Signature

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration for five years, one week after it passed the Senate. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature by May 17, which is the funding deadline for the agency.

The bill received bipartisan support with a vote of 387-26 in the House and 88-4 in the Senate. It authorizes $105 billion in funding for the FAA through fiscal year 2028 and an additional $738 million in appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board for the same period.

“This bill makes crucial investments in our national airspace infrastructure so that we can continue to operate the safest and most efficient airspace in the world,” the airline lobbying group Airline for America wrote in a statement. “This bill works to take care of aging air traffic control towers, outdated equipment and underperforming technology. We are particularly pleased the bill works to address the air traffic controller shortage by dictating that the FAA adjusts their current staffing model and hires the maximum number of controllers. There is no overnight fix for the shortage, but this opens the air traffic controller pipeline to more capacity.”

“Travelers had a clear demand for Congress to fix an aviation system challenged by years of federal underinvestment. This FAA renewal is a big step toward vastly improving the travel experience,” U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a statement. “Measures in the bill will address delays and cancellations and other travel hassles by modernizing air traffic control technology, boosting the air traffic control workforce, and investing in additional improvements to our nation’s airports and air travel system.”

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