Coalition Calls for Senate Action on FAA Reauthorization, Leadership

Pressure from the group of aviation organizations comes as the FAA’s current authorization is set to expire on Sept. 30.

A coalition of aviation organizations sent a letter calling for the U.S. Senate to move forward as soon as possible on an FAA Reauthorization bill and confirming the next FAA Administrator. [Credit: Alejandro-Barba/Unsplash]

Editor's note: This article first appeared on AVweb.com.

A coalition of aviation organizations sent a letter last week calling for the U.S. Senate to move forward as soon as possible on an FAA Reauthorization bill and confirming the next FAA Administrator. 

FAA reauthorization legislation was introduced in both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives last June. A bill was passed by the House the following month, but companion legislation has not yet made it through the Senate. 

The FAA’s current authorization is set to expire on September 30.

On the leadership side, Michael Whitaker was officially nominated for the position of FAA Administrator on September 7. He is currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate. The agency has been without a Senate-confirmed administrator since March 2022.

“This is a critical and transformative time for the aviation industry,” the organizations wrote in the letter. “To keep pace, the FAA needs permanent leadership and clear direction… A completed FAA Reauthorization bill and a confirmed Administrator in 2023 will contribute in a substantial fashion to strengthening the agency’s efforts in advancing safety, efficiency, infrastructure, and innovation, supporting the FAA’s workforce, and enhancing the jobs and global competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry.”

Sent on September 13, the letter was signed by 28 organizations, including the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). It was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Kate O’Connor is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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