The Senate overwhelmingly passed a long-term FAA reauthorization bill on Tuesday, sending the measure to the House, where similar legislation has stalled over a plan to privatize ATC.
Lawmakers approved by a vote of 95-3 an amended measure that would fund the FAA through fiscal year 2017.
The Senate bill includes a number of provisions that are being championed by general aviation, including third-class medical reform, and would authorize annual increases in Airport Improvement Program funding, streamline certification for light GA aircraft, support a transition to unleaded aviation fuel, and make it easier to install modern safety equipment in legacy aircraft.
GA groups applauded the Senate bill’s passage for scrapping the ATC privatization proposal.
“On behalf of NBAA’s more than 10,000 member companies, we applaud this bipartisan step toward implementing a smart, targeted approach to funding the FAA’s efforts to modernize what is already the world’s safest ATC system, without going down the dangerous path of turning our ATC system over to a private board,” said National Business Aviation Association president and CEO Ed Bolen.
The bill’s fate in the House is uncertain. The current FAA reauthorization expires on July 15.