Industry, Congress Point To FAA Reauthorization in 2015

 - December 17, 2013, 2:45 PM

Although the current FAA reauthorization and federal aviation programs do not expire until September 2015, follow-on legislation is already on the radar screens of government and the aviation industry. In a House aviation subcommittee hearing last week on the state of American aviation, chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), whose district includes the FAA’s technical center in Atlantic City, noted that it took five years and 23 short-term extensions to pass the current reauthorization bill.

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen testified that the general aviation community is committed to working with the FAA, Congress and others to streamline the certification process for light aircraft, consolidate agency departments and functions–as outlined in the current reauthorization–and prioritize NextGen. GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce urged that the FAA pursue collaborative, data-driven efforts such as the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, to advance technologies and improve safety.

In a nod to globalization and the growth of emerging international markets, ranking Democrat Rep. Rick Larsen, whose Washington state district encompasses Boeing facilities around the Puget Sound, warned, “We simply can’t write a reauthorization bill for 2015 without taking a look at what’s happening elsewhere in the world.”


The good news is that it is not only light aircraft that need a new certification process--in fact, manufacturers of commercial jet aircraft have said the same thing.  Sequestration, government shutdowns and lapsed FAA authorities have caused delays in deliveries of aircraft resulting in additional costs for airlines and manufacturers.

All of it should be part of aviation policy reform, something endorsed by nearly every aviation interest out there.  Members of Congress increasingly understand this as well; if we are wiling to talk with each other and reach a consensus solution we can achieve the first significant reforms since prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Steve Van Beek


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