T&I Committee Advances Bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Bill
Today, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years, by a unanimous 63-0 vote.
The bipartisan legislation was introduced on June 9th by T&I Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), T&I Committee Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA), and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN), and has garnered significant support from aviation industry leaders and stakeholders.
“This bipartisan bill is critical to America’s global leadership in aviation, to our economy and millions of jobs, and to making the entire system safer and more efficient for all users and the traveling public,” said Chairman Sam Graves. “From the first ever GA title in an FAA reauthorization, to measures broadening the pipeline of future aviation professionals, to the needed investments in the system’s infrastructure and more, this bill will help secure the United States’ position as the gold standard in aviation safety and innovation. I appreciate the work of all Committee members in developing this bill and considering it, along with over 100 amendments, over the last two days. I now look forward to moving this bill through the House of Representatives in the coming weeks and getting a reauthorization across the finish line before the current law expires in September.”
“Our committee took action today to make our skies safer, strengthen our economy and invest in our aviation workforce,” Ranking Member Rick Larsen said. “With this bipartisan legislation, we are securing the future of American aviation, and will make our system cleaner, greener, safer, more accessible and more innovative. I appreciate the leadership and partnership of Chair Sam Graves, Chair Garret Graves and Ranking Member Cohen. I look forward to seeing my House colleagues pass this bill next month.”
“The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act is the most comprehensive aviation legislation the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has ever approved. This legislation will help to improve the passenger experience for all travelers while laying the groundwork for innovators and new technologies to advance in America,” Chairman Garret Graves said. “This legislation will make the Federal Aviation Administration’s structure more certain, predictable, and capable of facilitating improvements and innovations in our national airspace. These transformational changes will ensure that the United States can continue to set the gold standard in aviation safety while leading the world in aviation innovation. I want to thank Chairman Sam Graves, Ranking Member Rick Larsen, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen for their partnership as well as all the members of our committee for their invaluable input as this legislation moves forward.”
“I am pleased to see a bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act receive approval by the Committee and look forward to its passage by the whole House of Representatives soon,” said Ranking Member Steve Cohen. “This transformative legislation, which required compromises from both sides, will improve the safety of the flying public, create good jobs and bolster the aviation workforce pipeline, and take important steps to protect consumers including those with disabilities. This is a good bill and I am proud to support it.”
More information from the two-day markup of H.R. 3935, including bill text and amendments approved, can be found here.
In summary, the bill:
Improves FAA Efficiency and Operations
The bill makes targeted changes to the organizational structure of the FAA to improve overall efficiency of the agency, allow for innovation, and streamline the regulatory process. The bill does so in a manner that will not harm the FAA’s ongoing efforts while simultaneously ensuring the agency is better organized to lead in an advanced aviation future.
Strengthens America’s General Aviation (GA) Sector
Most of our aviation professionals, including pilots and mechanics, get their start in GA. This bill recognizes that the success of the United States aviation system is built upon a strong GA foundation and includes the first-ever general aviation title to secure our aviation industry’s long-term success.
Grows the Aviation Workforce
Our aviation system is experiencing a shortage of qualified workers, including pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers. This bill addresses workforce challenges by removing barriers to pursuing aviation careers, expanding the aviation workforce pipeline, improving training standards, and more.
Invests in United States Airport Infrastructure
Airports connect our communities, create jobs, and drive economic growth. The bill authorizes robust funding for airport infrastructure, including prioritizing investments for small and GA airports, and streamlining project delivery.
Upholds America’s Gold Standard in Safety
America’s aviation system is safe, but the system is not immune to stress and must continually be made safer. The bill addresses several safety issues, including the recent uptick in runway incursions, to ensure the United States, and the FAA, remain the world’s gold standard in aviation safety.
Encourages Aviation Innovation
America has been a leader in aviation innovation. Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic hurdles, endless research, and pilot programs that are not leading to the development and incorporation of new technologies, China and other countries are beginning to surpass the United States. The bill encourages the safe yet more efficient testing and integration of new technologies, such as drones and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), into the airspace.
Enhances the Passenger Experience
While many parts of the aviation system typically function without incident despite a growing volume of travelers, one weak link in a trip can ruin a passenger’s experience. The bill delivers reforms that will enhance the experience for the traveling public.
Authorizes the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
As the independent Federal agency responsible for investigating all civil aviation accidents, in addition to accidents in other modes of transportation, the NTSB plays an important role in transportation safety. Last authorized in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, this bill provides updates to the NTSB’s authorization.