August 24, 2017
In an analysis on Air Transport World Online, Aaron Karp says not to hold your breath waiting for an FAA reauthorization bill, including major air traffic control (ATC) reform, to pass the US Congress in the next couple of months.
“Avoiding a costly partial shutdown of FAA this autumn now seems the best one can realistically hope for — and a disruption to FAA operations resulting from either the agency’s authorization expiring or a wider government shutdown is absolutely possible in the coming months,” he writes.
He notes there are three key deadlines to keep in mind:
The FAA’s authorization expires Sept. 30.
The US federal government’s funding authority runs out Sept. 30.
The US federal government is expected to hit its debt ceiling in early October.
He notes there may be a “mad scramble” to pass some kind of short-term FAA extension to avoid an “embarrassing partial shutdown of FAA like the one that happened in 2011, when around 4,000 FAA employees were placed on furlough and construction projects at airports across the US halted.”