Senators push to pass FAA funding bill this year

November 10, 2009

Members of the Senate have joined together to voice the importance of passing a long-term FAA funding bill (S.1451) before the end of the year.

In a letter circulated by AOPA member and pilot Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), 35 senators said the bill would provide much-needed funding for metropolitan and rural airports and for the FAA’s NextGen air traffic control system.

“The bill ensures that we have a safer and more efficient aviation system, and in doing so it will provide good construction and technology jobs,” the letter said. “As we all travel to our home states, we talk to people every day who are struggling to keep their homes and their jobs. From rural America to our largest cities, the entire country will benefit from what the FAA bill will provide.”

“We’re pleased to see that members of the Senate have taken the initiative to voice the necessity of passing an FAA funding bill this year,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “AOPA supports the Senate bill, which would fund the FAA through aviation fuel taxes, ticket taxes, and a general fund contribution.”
The most recent funding authorization bill for the FAA expired on Sept. 30, 2007. Since then, the agency has been paid for using a series of continuing resolutions. If the Senate passes its bill, it will go to conference committee to work out differences with the House version.