WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced the bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4), a five-year bill to reauthorize the FAA.
H.R. 4 was introduced in the House by the entire bipartisan leadership of the Committee and its six subcommittees, including Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA).
According to lawmakers, the FAA Reauthorization Act:
- Keeps our nation in the lead in aviation by putting American jobs, American innovation, and the traveling public first.
- Cuts Washington red tape so that manufacturers can get products to market on time, stay competitive globally, and continue to employ millions of Americans.
- Encourages American innovation in aviation technologies to promote a stronger American workforce.
- Ensures that our airport infrastructure connects our businesses and increasing number of air travelers to the world.
- Gives the American traveling public a better flight experience.
- Ensures our system remains as safe as possible for the American traveler and addresses factors related to recent incidents.
“Our aviation system is essential to our economy and to the American way of life,” said Shuster. “This bill provides many important reforms that will help U.S. manufacturers and job creators lead in a very competitive global marketplace. This legislation ensures long-term investment and stability in aviation infrastructure for America’s large, small, and rural communities, and it addresses issues to help maintain the safety of our system.”
“I’m glad we finally had the opportunity to come together and introduce a bipartisan, long-term FAA reauthorization bill – a bill that gives the FAA long-term funding it needs to do its job and includes mandates to improve aviation safety, to continue leading the world in aviation research and innovation, and to make needed and targeted reforms to critical aviation programs. This bill will also enhance the air travel experience for the hundreds of millions of U.S. passengers who take to the skies each year,” said Ranking Member DeFazio.
“This FAA authorization is the culmination of years of hearings and listening sessions to solicit input from aviation stakeholders, commercial passengers, general aviation pilots and our colleagues,” said LoBiondo. “In the truest sense, this legislation represents bipartisan cooperation and compromise to advance the nation’s aviation interests and safety in the skies. Moving a five-year FAA bill with broad bipartisan support through the Congress and to the President’s desk is my top priority as I wind down my chairmanship of the subcommittee.”
“Aviation supports more than 30,000 jobs in Washington state and long-term FAA reauthorization will provide stability and economic growth in the Pacific Northwest,” said Ranking Member Larsen. “With this continued commitment to bipartisanship, the difference between the House and the Senate bills is now merely inches apart. I am pleased Congress can move forward on addressing the long-term infrastructure, workforce and aviation safety needs to benefit communities across the U.S.”
H.R. 4 Includes Bipartisan Predisaster Mitigation Measure
The bill also includes the bipartisan Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), legislation that received overwhelming support in the House in December as part of an emergency disaster aid package. The DRRA provisions of the bill will help communities better prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against disasters of all kinds, lawmakers noted.
The DRRA provides broad reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in particular increasing the federal emphasis on predisaster planning and mitigation to reduce the potential for future loss of life and help reduce the rising costs of disasters.
“The bipartisan DRRA will ensure our communities are more resilient, build better, and build smarter. Ultimately, because of this commonsense, proactive approach to mitigating the impacts of disasters before they strike and not waiting until afterwards to simply pick up the pieces, this legislation will save lives, save property, and save taxpayer dollars,” said Shuster.
“It is critical we as a nation do everything in our power to help communities struggling to recover from disasters, but in doing so we must ensure we are building more resilient communities,” Ranking Member DeFazio said. “Climate change is real and the intensity of extreme weather events, and the billions of dollars in accompanying damage, are growing each year. More must be done to better prepare us for the next major disaster, and the bipartisan Disaster Recovery Reform Act is a step in the right direction.”
“I thank Chairman Shuster for recognizing the importance of including the Disaster Recovery Reform Act in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018,” said Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA). “After spending tens of billions of dollars on disasters in 2017, America needs a better system to ensure the effective use of taxpayer dollars. Pre-disaster mitigation is one of the most important steps we can take to better approach disaster recovery. We need to work to save lives and taxpayer dollars by building stronger, more resilient infrastructure after disaster strikes. By incentivizing pre-disaster mitigation, my bill will help us save $4 to $8 on the back end for every $1 spent on the front end. It’s time for us to help communities across the nation build better and build smarter.”
“I am pleased to join the leadership of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in sponsoring this important legislation to reauthorize the programs of the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Ranking Member Dina Titus (D-NV). “This bill includes a number of provisions I championed to promote the safe integration of unmanned aviation systems into the airspace, extend Nevada’s UAS Test Range authorization, and promote both worker and traveler safety. I am also pleased that the Disaster Recovery and Reform Act is included in this legislative package. DRRA contains commonsense, bipartisan reforms to help our communities not only respond to ever-worsening disasters, but prepare for them as well. As the major hurricanes and wildfires that impacted millions of Americans from the U.S. Virgin Islands to California have demonstrated, disasters are growing more violent and costly. We must prioritize pre-mitigation activities to make our communities more resilient and better-prepared for the next storm, fire, flood, and earthquake.”