FAA Will Remain Solvent, At Least Through October

Debate on pilot qualifications looms.

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The House on Wednesday agreed to a spending package that included a short-term extension to the FAA.Wikimedia Commons

It was no big surprise that the House on Wednesday agreed to a spending package that included a short-term extension to the FAA, yet again kicking the can down the road on negotiations for a full reauthorization. The current extension would have expired at the end of this month.

Bill Shuster (R-PA) said he still plans to begin negotiations later this year with Senator John Thune (R-SD) on long-term funding solution for the FAA now that talk about privatizing the air traffic control system has been removed from the debate.

Industry insiders see another hot debate sitting on the sidelines, modifications to Part 121 pilot qualifications, a topic being championed by Thune. The Air Line Pilots Association is vehemently against any changes to the current requirement that air carrier pilots must possess at least 1,500 flying hours in order to be eligible for the right seat.