By Adrian Schofield
Apr 22, 2008
Senate Democratic leaders are trying to bring the FAA reauthorization bill – long viewed as dead for this year – to a floor vote this week or next, sources tell The DAILY.
The intense public scrutiny FAA is receiving over the aircraft inspection issue has convinced senior Democrats they can’t leave the FAA bill sitting on the backburner. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been pushing for the bill to at least make its way out of the Senate, although there would still be major challenges involved in the conference process with House lawmakers. A White House veto threat also looms as a potential problem.
The key obstacle preventing the FAA bill reaching the Senate floor for a vote is a clause requiring a $25 user fee for airspace users to fund ATC modernization. Senate aviation subcommittee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) wants the user fee clause in the bill, but his stance has met with objections from the Senate Finance Committee. Sources say Rockefeller is now prepared to give up the $25 user fee if some other extra money can be found for ATC modernization.
Source: AVIATION WEEK