FAA Hits Another Funding Wall
Despite a plea from a leading airport industry group, it appears that Congress will once again postpone action on an FAA reauthorization bill. Yesterday, the House approved a three-month extension of aviation programs and taxes, through December 31. Because new FAA reauthorization is once again stalled in the Senate, that body undoubtedly will pass an identical 90-day extension before the FAA’s current programs and taxes expire on September 30. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has passed its FAA reauthorization bill, but got sidetracked because the Senate Finance Committee became embroiled in the current contentious debate on health care. The Finance Committee must take action on FAA taxes and fees before reauthorization can reach the Senate floor for a vote. It has been almost two years since the last FAA reauthorization bill expired. Congress has been unable to pass a multi-year FAA bill since then, and instead has been approving a series of short-term extensions. In May the House passed H.R.915, the “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009,” to reauthorize FAA programs for fiscal years 2010 though 2012.