January 28, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, has introduced a long-term FAA reauthorization and modernization bill that went to the Senate floor for consideration.
The $34.5 billion, two-year bill, which passed the Senate 93-0 last year, includes provisions to accelerate the FAA’s implementation schedule for components of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), set up a board to oversee FAA modernization programs, and create a new position of “chief NextGen officer” within the FAA to keep NextGen’s programs on track.
The FAA is currently operating under a continuing resolution which expires on March 31. It is the seventeenth extension of FAA funding since the last long-term FAA bill expired in 2007.
“This is a significant FAA package that will support thousands of jobs, strengthen airline safety and modernize America’s outdated air traffic control system. It will lead to a better aviation system for all Americans,” said Rockefeller in a Jan. 28 news release.
The bill contains provisions to accelerate the FAA’s implementation, now planned for completion in 2020, of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out technology for NextGen, require the FAA to develop a program to improve runway incursion information for pilots, and enhance air service to small communities.
“AOPA’s 405,000 members appreciate the Senate’s efforts to put this critically important reauthorization back in motion with this early action,” said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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