New FAA Funding Bill Booted to 2011
Congress last weekend extended the FAA’s programs, taxes and Airport and Airways Trust Fund spending authority for another three months until March 31, 2011. The extension is the 17th passed by Congress in lieu of a full, multi-year reauthorization for FAA funding and aviation system modernization. The last multi-year FAA reauthorization expired in October 2007. This latest stop-gap measure essentially gives the incoming 112th Congress breathing room to pass a new multiple-year FAA reauthorization, which incoming House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) has said is one of the first bills that he wants to tackle in the new session of Congress next month. The current 111th Congress adjourns at the end of this year and all pending bills, such as a new, multi-year FAA reauthorization, will expire. The House passed a new three-year reauthorization bill in May 2009, but since then the Senate has been unable or unwilling to do the same.