Congress Passes Short-Term FAA Bill

On Monday, March 21st, the House approved a measure which provides a short-term extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs through July 15, 2016. The current authorization was scheduled to expire on March 31, and this will give lawmakers more time to enact long-term, comprehensive legislation.

Last week, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved legislation to reauthorize FAA programs through September 2017. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation in February that would renew the agency’s authority for five years, but the measure never made it to the floor due to concerns over a proposal to privatize air traffic control. The proposal has caused resistance from appropriators in both chambers and both parties.

The Senate will begin reevaluating a long-term plan when they return from recess on April 4th. However, some predict that Congress could pass another extension in July, pushing the issue to the fall agenda.