Senate Calls for Improved FAA Certification Process

 - June 29, 2015, 10:39 AM

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee highlights certification reform and ADS-B implementation in its recommended $16 billion Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the FAA. The committee, which cleared the bill for full Senate consideration on June 25, is recommending a FY2016 FAA budget that is $175 million more than requested from the White House and nearly $300 million more than last year's. Similar to the House, the Senate would furnish far less for the FAA’s facilities and equipment than the White House sought, but would match FY2015’s $2.6 billion.

However, the bill does provide $184.6 million for ADS-B implementation, recognizing it is the foundation of the NextGen air traffic management program. The Appropriations Committee also stressed that the FAA’s certification system “must include a fuller utilization of organizational designation authorization, more effective safety oversight, better workforce training and meaningful performance metrics.” The committee asked for a report on improvements in the FAA’s certification effort and further urged the FAA to issue the Part 23 rewrite this summer, saying,  “A failure to act would cede international leadership to other regulatory authorities.”

While the years-long ban on raising the weight limit at Teterboro Airport was absent from the House version of the appropriations bill, the Senate would continue the ban. However, the Senate does not address the noise controversy at New York’s East Hampton Airport. The House version would prevent the FAA from enforcing grant assurance agreements at the airport.