Congress has passed a measure that would extend FAA programs through March 2011.
The House passed the extension Dec. 2, and the Senate passed it Dec. 18. This is the seventeenth short-term extension since the last FAA reauthorization expired in 2007; the most recent one runs through the end of this year. The new short-term bill extends programs into the new Congress.
“The new dynamics in Congress could produce a completely different bill—which is why it’s important to share the value of general aviation to America with new members of Congress and to recruit new members for the GA caucuses,” said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton.
AOPA worked during the 111th Congress to educate lawmakers about the value of GA to the economy and the importance of maintaining the proven system of funding for aviation programs. Both the House and Senate passed reauthorization bills that would have preserved that system of funding and not imposed user fees, but a few contentious issues not related to GA kept a final bill from reaching the president’s desk.
Short-term extensions allow for continued collection of taxes and authorize programs, such as the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, to continue, but a longer-term FAA reauthorization would lay out priorities for the FAA and provide for development of the Next Generation air transportation system.