FAA Reauthorization Bill, Part Deux

 - February 12, 2009, 9:55 AM

Noting that “we are already two years behind schedule because of lack of action by the U.S. Senate,” House aviation subcommittee chairman Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) gaveled a hearing yesterday afternoon on H.R.915, the “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009,” a bill that would authorize nearly $70 billion in spending for the FAA through 2012. H.R.915 is the reintroduction of H.R.2881, legislation that was approved by the House in September 2007. But the Senate never got around to passing its version of reauthorization, so the House legislation died at the end of last year. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), the ranking Republican on the full House Transportation Committee, said a rumored Senate plan to postpone any action on an FAA bill until sometime this fall is “totally unacceptable.” The FAA has been operating on a series of short-term extensions since an old FAA reauthorization bill expired on Sept. 30, 2007. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the full Transportation Committee, has vowed to pass the bill by next month, when the most recent short-term extension expires.