House Introduces FAA Reauthorization Bill
The House of Representatives issued its long-anticipated version of the FAA reauthorization bill last night, and user fees are not included. In lieu of user fees, however, the bill allows the FAA to raise fuel taxes a few cents per gallon and to charge a variety of miscellaneous fees, such as $130 to register an aircraft, $50 for an airman certificate and $45 for a medical certificate. The bill also provides significant backing for NextGen and a strengthened Joint Planning and Development Office to accomplish it. Also required would be key reports on integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace system and how the FAA can reduce the burden of the Washington, D.C. ADIZ. In addition, the bill calls for a ban on non-Stage 3 compliant aircraft and the repeal of the FAA’s “age 60 rule,” effective immediately when the bill is passed. Things are certain to change, though, as the bill is in committee mark-up today and still has to make its way through the full House and negotiation with the Senate, which included user fees in its bill.