Aviation Groups Plead for Prolonged FAA Authorization

Senate leaders are asked to expediate discussions with the House on a long-term FAA agreement.

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A long list of associations affected by the FAA have signed a letter urging Senate leaders to work out a long-term reauthorization deal.Wikimedia Commons/Noclip

The regular battle to keep the FAA operational has become too much for a long list of groups affected by the government authority. Since 2015, the senate has only authorized short-term extensions. The latest reauthorization of FAA activities spanned six months and will expire at the end of September, continuing the uncertainty in the aviation business environment. On April 27, the House of Representatives passed a five-year reauthorization. Now the industry groups hope to encourage the Senate to do the same.

Groups from general aviation, drone, airline and air traffic control sectors signed a letter addressed to U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Charles Schumer pleading them to promptly begin working on an agreement on FAA reauthorization between the House and Senate.

“It is essential that the FAA is provided long-term authorization for its activities and programs to maintain and advance the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world,” the letter said. “The aerospace industry needs dependable authority from the FAA and policymakers to continue to provide the highest level of service for aviation customers and meet the needs of the aviation industry and workforce.”

Organizations that signed the bill include the National Business Aviation Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Air Traffic Controllers’ Association, Regional Airline Association, Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association, International Air Transport Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many, many more.

“There is bipartisan support for moving the FAA bill forward now to ensure safety, economic benefits, regulatory reform, and international competitiveness through a long-term reauthorization bill for the FAA. We are eager to assist you in securing consideration of this important legislation and we appreciate your support,” the letter said.

In May, lawmakers announced they hoped to reach an agreement before the August recess, but so far no agreement has been reached and the recess was cancelled by McConnell. The good news is that the House and Senate appear to have given up on tying ATC Privatization to the FAA reauthorization, at least for now.