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 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.
“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.