Sep 24th, 2018

The FAA Reauthorization Act: Show Me the Money

Posted in Aviation News

The FAA Reauthorization Act, this is legislation that funds the Federal Aviation Administration.  It is currently up for renewal.  The Federal Aviation Administration oversees all aspects of civil aviation within the United States.

The legislation dates back to 2012. when the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 was passed.  It funded FAA activity through 2015.  The federal government passed the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 to keep things going through September 2017.  Since that time two stop gap measures have been passed to keep the agency funded. For more information see:  Congress has until September 30 to act in order to keep the system funded.

The stop gap measures expire on September 30, 2108.  Senator Thune of South Dakota introduced legislation months ago to get the bill passed in time.  In classic congressional manner, Congress has “kicked the can down the road” on several occasion in order to avoid dealing with some thorny issues.

One of the chief issues is who will legislate the operation of drones, the federal government or state and local governments.  Local residents have a vested interest in who and what is flying over their house (with the accompanying noise).  As Amazon and others consider drone deliveries, who has a say over how drones can operate is a hot topic.

Other topics under discussion is how and when passengers can get bumped from flights.  How much rest time must be given to flight attendants between duty days.  How big passenger seats must be and how much legroom must be given.  Additionally, the privatization of some airports, moving them out of government hands, is at play.  Finally, there is the important question of what airports will be funded for upgrades and renovations.  For a summary of the House of Representatives take on the FAA Reauthorization Act, see:

Groups such as the ARSA (Aeronautical Repair Station Association) are pushing hard to have legislation passed so we can move forward ( One chief area of concern is the impending shortage of qualified airplane technicians.  Additionally, there is much said about government intervention in American’s everyday lives.  The topic of over legislation and regulation is frequently heard on talk radio.  Some experts see this Reauthorization Act as an excellent opportunity to decrease government regulation.

Doctor Aviation predicts that Congress will not meet the September 30 deadline.  Contemporary leaders seem to have a deep fear of taking on the tough issues.  Kicking the can down the road seems to be the easy way out.

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