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AOPA backs Senate FAA bill

The U.S. Senate released a draft FAA reauthorization bill June 22, the day after a controversial bill to continue FAA operations was introduced in the House of Representatives. Unlike the proposed House bill, the Senate version would keep air traffic control in the hands of the FAA.

The Federal Aviation Administration is one of the many government agencies that have influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

The Senate legislation would extend FAA funding authorization for four years through September 2021, and includes the FLIGHT Act as well as general aviation pilot protections from the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.

AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker said the association supports the Senate proposal.

“As the largest association of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, AOPA supports the Senate FAA reauthorization legislation which will allow the U.S. air traffic control system to continue to be the safest and most efficient in the world, preserves the public benefit that access to aviation brings to rural communities, gives local airports more flexibility to build and repair infrastructure, provides pilots more common-sense protections, and further facilitates the important role general aviation plays in emergencies," Baker said.

Baker thanked Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, for his work in bringing the legislation forward. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is expected to consider amendments to the bill next week.

AOPA and five other general aviation industry organizations issued a joint statement June 21 opposing ATC privatization, and a majority of Americans believe the proposal is a “bad idea” according to a recent survey.

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: Advocacy, FAA Funding, Capitol Hill

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