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AOPA urges swift action on FAA reauthorization

AOPA is again urging members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to act on the FAA reauthorization bill.

The Capitol is home to the U.S. Congress and its House and Senate governing bodies, which have influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

In a January 12 letter to Senate Commerce Committee leaders Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), AOPA President Mark Baker stressed the importance of passing the FAA reauthorization to address initiatives impacting safety, technology, innovation, and airports.

The letter emphasizes the economic impact that general aviation has on the multibillion-dollar aviation industry and the lifesaving benefits it brings to communities through disaster relief, search and rescue, humanitarian missions, agricultural projects, and law enforcement.

The bill would not only authorize the authority of the FAA for the next five years, but it would also address several issues important to GA to include funding for GA airports, resources to help address the nationwide hangar shortage, and 100LL availability until there is a fleetwide replacement.

Baker looks forward to collaboration and swift action on a long overdue bill, stating, “AOPA looks forward to working with you and the Committee to move the FAA Reauthorization bill promptly and avoid any additional short-term FAA extensions.”

The FAA reauthorization was initially set to expire in September—with the House passing its version of the bill in July—but ongoing negotiations in the Senate have led to two extensions of the FAA’s authority while senators iron out disagreements over pilot training hours and retirement age.

The next FAA reauthorization deadline is March 8. AOPA and aviation industry groups hope to see the bill resolved by then, as short-term extensions threaten the safety and progress of the industry. In a November 30 letter to the committee, industry groups expressed concerns that “short-term extensions challenge the certainty that industry and the FAA depend on to enable long-term planning and investment in many critical areas required to ensure the safety of the NAS and America’s global leadership in aviation.”

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will need to vote and approve its version of the bill before it’s considered by the full Senate and then reconcile it with the House-passed version.

Lillian Geil

Communications Specialist
Communications Specialist Lillian Geil is a student pilot and a graduate of Columbia University who joined AOPA in 2021.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill

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