Today, the Alliance for Aviation Across America applauded the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for passage of H.R. 302, a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. The bill passed in the Senate today with a vote of 93-6. Last week, the bill was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 398-23. A one-week extension was also enacted at that time, giving the Senate until October 7th to pass the legislation.
In response, the Alliance released the following statement:
“On behalf of rural communities, small and mid-sized farms and businesses, and operators across the country, we applaud Congress for passing a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill, which will support ongoing funding of our airport and aviation infrastructure, help to safeguard passengers, address our critical pilot and workforce shortage, and perhaps most importantly, this proposal excludes a risky provision to privatize our nation’s air traffic control system.
H.R. 302 ensure long-term funding for our FAA through September 30th, 2018, and encourage investment in important ongoing airport projects by funding the Airport Improvement Program through FY2023. It would also support key passenger protections, such as prohibiting involuntary bumping of passengers and requiring seat size standards.
Perhaps most importantly though, the bill does not include a provision to privatize the air traffic control system, a harmful provision pushed by the commercial airlines which would have removed the air traffic control system from Congressional oversight and placed this system under a board of private interests. These private interests, dominated by the big airlines, would have had broad decision-making power to raise taxes and fees, and to shape the system for their own benefit and to the detriment of thousands of smaller communities and airports around the nation.
“We urge the President to sign H.R. 302 into law before the October 7th deadline, and look forward to working with Congress and other stakeholders to ensure that we preserve consistent investment in the nation’s aviation infrastructure, support modernization of our air traffic control system, and preserve access to our system for communities of all sizes.”
Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of over 6,300 individuals representing businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interest of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.