Will FAA Bill Pass This Year? Flip a Coin…

 - October 23, 2007, 11:14 AM

“In Washington, D.C., no bad idea ever dies,” National Association of State Aviation Officials president and CEO Henry Ogrodzinski said of aviation user fees yesterday at the American Association of Airport Executives General Aviation Issues Conference in Naples, Fla. “Even if a good [FAA reauthorization] bill passes this time, user fees will still come up next time.” And next time isn’t that far away, since the two FAA bills currently in play–H.R.2881 and S.1300–reauthorize the agency for only four years, versus the traditional 10 years. However, passage of these bills is anything but assured; the House and Senate are no closer to consensus, and the extension that is keeping the FAA in business expires November 16. “It’s likely that another extension will be passed,” noted AOPA vice president of airports Bill Dunn, “and if these extensions continue into March then we’ll have more extensions to keep the status quo until the new administration is in place in 2009.” GAMA vice president Brian Riley gives only a 50-50 chance that an FAA reauthorization bill will be passed this year, and a near-zero chance next year since it’s an election year.

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