House Passes Five-Year FAA Reauthorization Bill

The House of Representatives passed a five-year reauthorization measure for the Federal Aviation Administration on July 20 by a vote of 351-69.

[Above photo by FAA]

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee originally introduced its roughly $104 billion bill to reauthorize the FAA, aviation safety, and infrastructure programs for the next five years – H.R. 3935, known as “The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act” – on June 9 and then subsequently passed it unanimously by a vote of 63-0 on June 14.

“This bipartisan legislation improves the safety of our system, our airport infrastructure, and the quality of service for passengers,” Sam Graves, R-MO, chairman of the House T&I committee, in a statement.

“Not only that, this bill will make the FAA more efficient, encourage the safe adoption of new and innovative technologies, and address growing workforce shortages, from pilots and mechanics to air traffic controllers,” he said. “In addition, this bill provides the first title dedicated specifically to our critical general aviation sector – the backbone of the American aviation system. I appreciate the work of all my colleagues who helped develop and move this bill through the House and I look forward to finishing work on this bill with the Senate before the current FAA law expires in September.”

[Editor’s note: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently published a new report analyzing the impact of general aviation on state and local economies across the country. That report, officially entitled “The Impact of General Aviation on State and Local Economies—State Reports 2022,” is a joint effort between AASHTO, the Alliance for Aviation Across America, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials. The report is envisioned as a communication resource to help illustrate the important role general aviation serves in state and local communities, as well as within the nation’s economy.]

Image by AASHTO

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), the House T&I committee’s ranking member, added that “this good faith process yielded a bipartisan bill that will create a safer, cleaner, greener, and more accessible U.S. aviation system. It will maintain our gold standard in safety and innovation, make a more sustainable and resilient aviation sector a reality, and improve accessibility and consumer protections for all passengers.”

Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director, applauded the bipartisan passage of FAA reauthorization bill, noting that it will advance ongoing planning and investment across the nation’s aviation infrastructure and operations.

“This bill puts an emphasis on safety, innovation, and workforce, all of which will contribute to a stronger transportation system for communities across the country,” he added. “AASHTO and state departments of transportation look forward to final passage of this FAA reauthorization and stand ready as partners to implement this vital piece of legislation.”

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation issued their own proposed FAA funding bill, known as the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023, on June 12.

That bill provides more than $107 billion for the FAA for fiscal years 2024 through 2028, including $20 billion for FAA airport improvement grants to support more than 3,300 airports nationwide and promote a sustainable and resilient infrastructure to meet increasing demand and integration of emerging technologies. A committee vote on the measure is expected in the near future.

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