The FAA received a temporary reprieve late last week as the Senate passed a weeklong extension of its authorization to provide the chamber time to turn its attention to the comprehensive long-term bill. Friday’s voice vote approval of the short-term measure came just two days before the agency’s authorization was set to expire yesterday.
House and Senate lawmakers released a compromise five-year FAA reauthorization bill—the Aviation, Transportation Safety, and Disaster Recovery Reforms and Reauthorization (H.R.302)—in the early hours of September 22. The House passed the bill on September 26 but also approved a measure extending the FAA’s current authorization through October 7 to provide additional time to the Senate to consider the full bill.
A procedural vote is scheduled for later today that would limit debate on H.R.302 and clear the way for consideration on the Senate floor. If the procedural vote (for cloture) is passed as anticipated, Senate consideration of the full long-term FAA bill could occur sometime midweek, possibly Wednesday.
H.R.302 culminates several weeks of negotiations between the two chambers, providing long-term funding for the FAA—up to $96.7 billion through 2023—addressing numerous aviation issues, and including reauthorizations for the National Transportation Safety Board and Transportation Security Administration. The bill further encompasses other non-aviation issues such as sports medicine licensing and disaster relief.