Press Releases

What They Are Saying: Aviation Industry Leaders Laud Bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Bill

Washington, D.C., June 12, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Last week, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), full Committee Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years. Numerous aviation industry leaders and stakeholders have praised the bill with the following statements of support:

Coalition of General Aviation (GA) groups, including Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Corporate Aircraft Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials: “As representatives of various sectors of the GA community, we’re thrilled that your bipartisan Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935) recognizes that the U.S. aviation sector is dependent upon a strong GA community and includes the first-ever GA title to secure the long-term success of American aviation…. These provisions, among others in the GA title, combined with provisions found in other titles of the bill, will not only unlock the full potential of GA operations but will also guarantee that American aviation will thrive for decades to come. We strongly urge support for H.R. 3935 and look forward to working with the Committee in advancing this landmark FAA reauthorization bill.” Full letter of support

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) President and CEO Eric Fanning: “The Aerospace Industries Association welcomes the inclusion of many of our members’ priorities in the House FAA reauthorization bill, including building the necessary talent pipeline and infrastructure that will ensure safe, efficient air transport now and into the future. This bipartisan legislation will take us to new heights in aerospace innovation and safety, and we thank Chairman Graves, Ranking Member Larsen, and the committee for moving this bill swiftly through the process.”

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President and CEO Mark Baker: “There has never been a more comprehensive FAA Reauthorization, or any legislation for that matter, specifically intended to help our nation’s general aviation sector. We applaud the Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Sam Graves, for its hard work on this bill.”

Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio: “We applaud the leadership of Chairman Sam Graves and Ranking Member Rick Larsen who worked collaboratively and with their members to forge a bipartisan FAA reauthorization bill. This legislation would provide long-term certainty for the U.S. aviation industry and the National Airspace System in addition to the millions of travelers and shippers who rely on airlines to transport passengers and packages every day. This legislation is critical to ensuring that the aviation sector as a whole – both government agencies and industry – has the right technology, the right people and the right resources to increase efficiency and capacity for the future while remaining the gold standard in aviation safety.” Full letter of support

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) President and CEO Todd Hauptli and Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) President and CEO Kevin Burke: “AAAE and ACI-NA are grateful to the bipartisan leadership of the Transportation Committee for their hard work in putting together important FAA reauthorization legislation that would result in additional investment in airports, make important programmatic reforms, and provide much needed certainty to airports and the aviation system over the next, critical five years. Airports in communities across the country would benefit from many of the provisions included in the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, and we look forward to offering our support as the bill moves through the legislative process.”   

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Executive Director Jim Tymon: “AASHTO applauds the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for introducing a bipartisan and multiyear FAA Reauthorization legislation. We look forward to working with members of the House and Senate to shepherd passage of this crucial legislation by September 30, 2023, which will ensure continued planning and investment in our nation’s aviation infrastructure and operations.”

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) President and CEO Linda Bauer Darr: “This bipartisan legislation will deliver aviation and airport infrastructure policies that enhance safety, facilitate economic development, and meet the growing needs of the traveling public. Our top priority in the aviation sector is designing 21st century infrastructure that supports the safe and reliable movement of people and goods. We are very pleased that the committee’s FAA reauthorization bill includes a substantial increase in authorized annual funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and an expansion of eligible uses for terminal projects. With passenger travel returning to pre-pandemic levels, the investments in your bill will help advance projects that are essential to relieving congestion, improving safety, and enhancing the passenger experience, all of which will promote economic growth in and around the airport facility.” Full letter of support

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer Emily A. Feenstra: “Like the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), ASCE considers passage of a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill a top legislative priority this year… As the professionals responsible for designing and operating the country’s built environment, civil engineers recognize the importance of safe and reliably funded aviation infrastructure. Our aviation system allows people to travel to their destinations, facilitates the movement of goods, and plays a key role in the nation’s economy. Unfortunately, ASCE’S 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure graded the nation’s aviation infrastructure a ‘D+’. The bipartisan reauthorization bill introduced by the House T&I Committee offers reliable support for programs that are vital for the safety and resilience of our system.” Full letter of support

American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) President and CEO Zane Kerby: “The FAA reauthorization legislation released by the committee today includes many of the provisions ASTA has been advocating for on behalf of our members since the beginning of the year and in some cases far longer. We applaud committee leadership and staff for their diligent work in putting this bill together and for being responsive to the concerns of travel advisors in their districts and across the country. The bill is evidence that policymakers recognize the invaluable role travel advisors play in the larger travel and tourism ecosystem while serving as a key voice for consumers.”

CureSMA President Kenneth Hobby and Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Maynard Friesz: “On behalf of air passengers with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), many of whom fly with a power wheelchair, Cure SMA appreciates that your Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935) includes provisions to help address air travel challenges faced by passengers with SMA and other disabilities.” Full letter of support

FlightSafety International President and CEO Brad Thress: “FlightSafety strongly supports the provisions in H.R. 3935, Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act that increase the credit given for advanced simulator training. Modern simulation technology exposes pilots to a far broader and more valuable body of experience than are possible in the aircraft. Increasing the amount of training accomplished in advanced simulators will enhance the safety and preparedness of our industry.”

General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Peter J. Bunce: “The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act provides a strong foundation to set a positive trajectory for the FAA at a critical time for the agency. The Act’s proposed investments, and direction, will enable the FAA and industry to address issues needed to address safety issues, industry growth and innovation, and critical workforce and infrastructure investments. GAMA strongly supports committee passage of H.R. 3935 and looks forward to working with policymakers on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and broader body, to advance and strengthen these priorities through the legislative process.” Full letter of support

National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Rich Santa: “The most critical issue facing the NAS is the staffing, hiring, and training of air traffic controllers. The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to revise its long-flawed Controller Workforce Plan and to set its hiring target for new air traffic controller trainees to the maximum number able to be trained at the FAA’s Academy in Oklahoma City, while continuing to hiring experienced controllers, for each of fiscal years 2024-2027. This is an essential step in what must be a comprehensive approach to improving controller staffing throughout the system.” Full letter of support

National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President and CEO Curt Castagna: “The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) applauds Chairman Sam Graves and Ranking Member Rick Larsen for their bipartisan leadership in introducing the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935) and their commitment to a timely reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As introduced, the legislation addresses many of the concerns NATA has raised on behalf of its members and includes multiple provisions to improve and streamline FAA processes. Specifically, NATA appreciates the legislation’s improvements to the Part 135 certification and check pilot processes, focus on scalability of SMS requirements for small operators, creation of an FAA ombudsman to provide impartial dispute mediation, and increased FAA/stakeholder engagement during the rulemaking process. NATA also appreciates the bill’s focus on general aviation (GA) and the vital role it plays in our nation’s economy and transportation system. By including the first GA title in FAA reauthorization legislation, Chair Graves and Ranking Member Larsen have recognized general aviation’s many and significant contributions to the overall aviation industry. As H.R. 3935 moves through the legislative process, NATA encourages the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to maintain the bill’s bipartisan focus on ensuring an efficient regulatory environment that allows the FAA to focus on safety assurance.”

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen: “We thank Chairman Sam Graves and Ranking Member Rick Larsen for their tireless work on this landmark bipartisan reauthorization bill and applaud the timely introduction of this vital legislation. This five-year FAA reauthorization package will strengthen America’s global leadership as the gold standard in aviation. It addresses critical areas across our industry, from growing and diversifying the workforce to modernizing FAA processes and improving critical infrastructure for airports of all sizes, while also recognizing and prioritizing the GA community.”

Portland Cement Association (PCA) Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Sean O’Neill: “The Portland Cement Association (PCA) applauds the introduction of the bipartisan Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. We appreciate the increased investment in aviation infrastructure included in the bill…. Finally, the Portland Cement Association applauds the work of this committee to introduce this legislation in a bipartisan fashion. By working together and reaching across the aisle, we believe this legislation can be authorized prior to the September 30, 2023, deadline.” Full letter of support

Regional Airline Association (RAA) President and CEO Faye Malarkey Black: “The Regional Airline Association (RAA) applauds Chairman Sam Graves along with full Committee Ranking Member Rick Larsen, Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA), and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen for their introduction of the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act. RAA wholeheartedly supports this bill, which will provide long-term certainty for the aviation community and ensure that the United States remains a global leader in aviation. This legislation will help improve aviation safety by ensuring that pilots working towards their Air Transport Pilot certificate (ATP) will be able to build a portion of their 1,500 flight hours utilizing the very same training technology used by commercial airline pilots. Flight simulators expose pilots to complex airspace and a variety of scenarios too risky to undertake in a small non-complex aircraft, which frankly doesn’t prepare them to be a commercial airline pilot. We also appreciate the investments to diversify and grow our aviation workforce. Specifically, we applaud the Committee for expanding and increasing the funding for the workforce development grant program for pilots so that more people are exposed to the career path and are given the opportunity to pursue their dream.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Transportation, Infrastructure, and Supply Chain Policy Vice President John Drake: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the bipartisan ‘Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act,’ as it will advance our nation’s global leadership in aviation safety while respecting free enterprise. The U.S. business community understands best how to efficiently run their operations and provide customers with safe, affordable, and accessible service. We look forward to working with the Committee leadership to further improve this legislation and urge the Committee to support its passage.”

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes: “The United States requires a more modern, efficient air travel system to grow the industry and the broader economy. By increasing investments in airport infrastructure, accelerating deployment of air traffic control technologies and addressing workforce shortages, the bipartisan ‘Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act’ is a welcomed and necessary step forward. The U.S. Travel Association thanks Chairman Graves (MO), Ranking Member Larsen, Chairman Graves (LA), Ranking Member Cohen and the members of the committee for their bipartisan work on the bill.”

The Committee is set to mark up the legislation on Tuesday, June 13, at 10:00 a.m. ET. More information about the markup, including a list of amendments and a link to the live webcast, can be found here.

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Tags: Aviation