Congress Approves FAA Funding Extension

The six-month extension offers the industry a bit of breathing room.

US Capitol
Congress has approved a six-month extension of the FAA's funding authority, keeping the agency funded through the end of March.Wikimedia Commons

With slightly more than two days left before the FAA’s funding authority was set to expire, Congress approved a six-month extension, a stopgap measure that keeps the agency afloat until March 31, 2018.

One significant stumbling block to the short-term extension before today seems to have been language attached to the bill that would have allowed private flood insurance companies to enter that marketplace, one now totally the domain of the federal government. Once the flood language disappeared the extension passed, although details of the vote were not reported at press time.

Politico reported this afternoon that, "House leaders tweaked the bill to broaden the eligibility for tax breaks to U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, addressing a criticism lobbed by Democrats and prepared the bill for a quick floor debate where only a simple majority was needed for passage; it succeeded."

If the funding authority had expired, ATC and safety personnel would still have been required to report to work. Whether or not they would have been paid in the future for their past efforts is unclear.