The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to have one more hearing on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization in the coming weeks in anticipation of an FAA reauthorization effort later this year. The current FAA authorization expires September 30, and Congress is expected to consider legislation during the summer months.
Last week, the Committee held its fifth hearing on FAA reauthorization issues, the first one focused on air traffic control (ATC) reform. Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) is expected to advocate for fundamental ATC reform again this Congress, though he has indicated there may be some changes from his proposal in the last Congress that are intended to gain additional support from aviation stakeholders, such as the general aviation community. However, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), recently voiced opposition to the ATC reform proposal, saying that it would give airlines too much control of the National Airspace System (NAS).
Chairman Shuster has found some increased support for his ATC reform proposal this Congress: James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, recently sent a letter supporting ATC reform and the President included ATC reform in his Administration’s “Skinny Budget” released in March.