Facing continued uncertainty on the fate of long-term FAA reauthorization bill on Capitol Hill, 33 aviation organizations urged Senate leaders to take action soon, saying passage of a long-term bill is essential to maintaining the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.
In an August 15 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the aviation organizations reminded them of the September 30 deadline for action on FAA reauthorization. “The FAA and the traveling public have been subjected to short-term extensions of the FAA’s authority since 2015, and these stopgap measures have negatively impacted the FAA’s activities,” the letter said. Congress has not passed long-term reauthorization legislation since 2012.
Emphasizing that the aerospace industry needs dependable authority from the FAA, the letter added, “Long-term legislation will allow employers, manufacturers, customers, and communities the certainty to continue to build, invest, hire, innovate, and grow in this dynamic industry…The FAA’s success and that of the aviation system will be significantly enhanced by progress and passage of a long-term FAA reauthorization bill.”
Long-term reauthorization has bipartisan support and was passed in the House in April. Prompt action in the Senate will enable the two chambers to resolve differences between the bills before the September 30 deadline, the aviation organizations added.
The letter comes as the Senate leaders have been sifting through potential amendments for the bill and have expressed optimism about its passage but still have not given a definitive timeline on when or if it might come up for a vote.