Facing staunch opposition in the aviation industry to a plan to privatize ATC and levy user fees, Congress has opted to delay the FAA’s reauthorization spending bill until at least September.
The move makes it appear increasingly likely that the FAA will require a stopgap funding bill to keep money flowing after the agency’s current reauthorization legislation expires on September 30.
The decision to delay the FAA bill surprised some in Congress, who expected the legislation to emerge on July 1. The bill is expected to call for creating a stand-alone, nonprofit corporation to run and oversee modernization of the FAA’s traffic control system with user fees to pay for its operation.
The provision has led to widespread condemnation from aviation interest groups, including a “call to action” by the National Business Aviation Association, which is urging its members to contact Congress to oppose the plan.
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