Officials from 14 of GA’s advocacy organizations have sent a letter urging the U.S. House of Representatives to pass an FAA reauthorization bill that can be signed into law before the agency’s current funding extension expires July 15.
“We need to get this done so the FAA can get on with important modernization and reform efforts,” said Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President Mark Baker. “We know from painful experience that moving from extension to extension is inefficient, creates uncertainty, and slows progress—and that’s something the aviation community just can’t afford at a time when there’s so much work to do.”
The Senate passed its own version of FAA reauthorization, which did not include a controversial measure that would privatize the air traffic control system, in April by a vote of 95-to-3.
Now, the letter says, the aviation community is encouraging the House to follow suit, “…so that together we can address important issues and reduce the costly regulatory and certification processes that continue to stifle safety, job creation, and growth in the aviation industry.”
“Our organizations represent millions of hard-working taxpayers that want Congress to get things done and not let this important bill be stalled because of a provision that divides our community and many within Congress,” the letter said.
The letter also noted that, aside from the privatization issue, there were many similarities between the House and Senate reauthorization bills.
Both measures include third class medical reform, as well as increased funding for the Airport Improvement Program and certification reforms.
Before FAA reauthorization can go to the president for a signature, the House must pass legislation and any differences between the House- and Senate-passed bills must be reconciled.
If that doesn’t happen before the July 15 deadline, Congress will need to pass another short-term extension to keep the FAA running.