FAA Funding Bill Stuck on Loading Dock

Ironically, the latest in a long series of short-term FAA funding extensions will expire on Independence Day. A bill passed in March is expected to end a stint in budget limbo that goes back to 2007 — but the House and Senate versions differ in one key aspect that has yet to be resolved. The House version would change the status of selected FedEx employees now covered under the Railway Labor Act; moving their status to the National Labor Relations Act. The former covers airline employees; the latter covers UPS workers. The Senate version does not include the provision, and reconciliation has been slow in coming. Most of the rest of the provisions of the funding bill, which eschews user fees — for now, would likely be unaffected once the labor element is cleared up. Then the bill can go to President Obama for signature and go into law.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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