FAA Stop-Gap Bill Passes in the Senate

Funding extended through March 2016.

On the cusp of the September 30 deadline, the “Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2015” bill passed in the Senate on September 29 and has moved to President Obama to be signed into law.

Buying time for a longer-term reauthorization package, the new measure will extend the FAA’s funding through March 31, 2016. The bill was brought to the House by Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) and Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), and passed on a voice vote Monday, before gaining Senate approval the next day.

Quite a lot remains on the debate table as lawmakers squabble over spinning off air traffic control and pilots cross their fingers for third-class medical reform.

For now, the FAA will continue operations with a new budget of $4.87 billion. The bill granted an additional $1.68 billion for Airport Improvement Program grants, as well as $1.3 billion for construction and equipment of navigational facilities, and $78.4 million to fund ongoing research and engineering initiatives.

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