The general aviation community, widely supporting the U.S. Senate’s version of long-term FAA reauthorization, is pushing for quick consideration as Congress works to finalize another short-term extension of the FAA’s operating authority. Last week, the Senate approved a stop-gap measure extending the FAA’s operating authority and the aviation excise taxes through July 15.
That measure heads to the House for reconsideration since the House-passed stop-gap measure would extend the aviation excise taxes through March 31, 2017. House action is anticipated this week.
The Senate approval of the short-term extension came a day after the Senate Commerce Committee passed a more comprehensive FAA reauthorization bill, and along with it well over 50 amendments. The Senate bill captured strong support from the general aviation community, which has vehemently opposed a measure in the House bills to privatize ATC.
“We strongly support the legislation's approach to making the FAA and its programs more effective and hope the full Senate will take up and approve this legislation in April," NATA president and CEO Tom Hendricks said.
“This bill takes the right approach to FAA reauthorization and aviation system modernization,” added NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Equally important, it retains a focus on the reality that the nation’s airports and airspace operate in the public interest, and should serve the public, including all aviation stakeholders, as well as all citizens and communities.”
GAMA praised the bill’s focus on certification reform, with president and CEO Pete Bunce saying, “These reforms are ready to go and give the FAA strong legislative direction so that manufacturers will be better able to get innovative, safety-enhancing technologies into their customers’ hands.” AOPA was pleased by the third-class medical reform and also that the Senate is taking steps to forward a longer-term bill.