Facing increasing concerns, Rep. Bill Shuster’s FAA reauthorization legislation will not be taken up on the House floor the week of Feb. 22 to 26, according to Politico. The bill, which passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Feb. 11, contains user fees on Part 135 charter operations based outside Alaska and Hawaii and would separate air traffic control functions from the FAA and place them into a federally chartered not-for-profit entity.
The legislation is facing strong opposition from Democrats and some unease in several quarters of the Republican party. In addition, the House Appropriations Committee has expressed opposition, and reservations have been raised by the Ways and Means Committee. A recent memo tied to the Freedom Caucus and a report from Heritage Action For America both raised a number of questions held by conservatives about the legislation as well.
AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon said, “This is extremely complex legislation, and there are many more steps to go before it is finalized. AOPA will continue to work with legislators to protect the freedom to fly and oppose any provisions that would negatively impact general aviation.”
When the committee passed the legislation, AOPA President Mark Baker said, “AOPA simply won’t accept user fees in any form on any segment of general aviation,” and “user fees are a nonstarter for us.”
Current FAA authorization expires March 31, and the delay announced Feb. 19 makes another short-term extension even more likely.