FAA Reauthorization Extension Clears Senate

The bill is the second short-term extension of the agency’s authorization and funding.

The recently passed FAA reauthorization bill is the second short-term extension for the agency this year. [Shutterstock]

The U.S. Senate has passed legislation that will temporarily extend authorization and funding for FAA programs and activities until March.

The bill, called the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2023, Part II (H.R. 6503), was introduced by U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.). It was approved by the House earlier this month. Now that it has passed the Senate, H.R. 6503 only requires the president’s signature before becoming law.

The last long-term legislation reauthorizing the FAA, which was signed into law in 2018, expired on September 30. H.R. 6503 is the second bill extending the reauthorization deadline with the first funding the agency through December 31. Set to expire on March 8, H.R. 6503 provides a little over two months more for the passage of a long-term reauthorization bill.

Last July, the House passed the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, which would fund the FAA for the next five years. However, reauthorization legislation has remained bogged down in the Senate. Calls for a long-term bill have been growing louder with industry stakeholders attending a hearing in Washington, D.C., in late November at the invitation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Aviation Subcommittee to offer testimony on the need for a multi-year reauthorization plan.

“We thank lawmakers for extending FAA authorization into 2024,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “However, an ongoing series of extensions creates the potential for disruptions to long-term planning for the FAA, and to the operational, safety and other agency services needed by the aviation sector, which is among the nation’s most highly regulated industries. We will continue working with Congress to pass a multi-year authorization bill as soon as feasible.”

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

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