Congress has adjourned for the traditional August recess without completing action on a number of must-pass bills, meaning lawmakers will face a very busy September that includes the looming deadline for the expiration of FAA programs. Congress will return to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 8. That leaves just three and a half weeks until the current FAA reauthorization bill expires.
A House FAA reauthorization bill that was expected to be unveiled in July has been postponed until September at the earliest, and it appears increasingly likely that the timeline may slip to later in the year. Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee has not released its legislative draft or announced a schedule to consider the measure.
In the absence of action on a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill, lawmakers are expected to pass a stopgap extension before the end of September. An extension will give lawmakers more time to put together their respective bills and consider a controversial proposal to separate the Air Traffic Organization from FAA.
AAAE will be pushing for a long-term extension that gives airports the needed certainty to plan multi-year construction projects and avoids problems associated with frequent funding starts and stops. Some lawmakers, however, are expected to back a short-term extension instead.