FAA Reauthorization Bill Delayed for 20th Time with Newest Stop-Gap Measure

Latest extension provides agency funding through July 22.

Congress approved another temporary FAA funding bill this week, delaying once again the passage of comprehensive FAA reauthorization legislation.** **

The new short-term bill constitutes the 20th stop-gap measure to pass since the last long-term FAA reauthorization bill expired in 2007. The latest bill, titled the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part III, will provide funding until July 22.

Both the House and the Senate passed differing versions of a long-term FAA funding bill this winter, and staffers have been working to build consensus on both sides ever since. A number of issues still pose sticking points however, such as funding levels and a provision that would make it more difficult for aviation workers to unionize.

There have been some recent signs that talks are making headway, such as the withdrawal of a controversial amendment proposed by Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Bill Shuster. The amendment would have required the FAA to study the potential economic effects of any new safety regulations before enacting them. But considering the fact that the Senate is in recess July 4-8 and the House in recess July 18-22, another short-term FAA funding bill is likely in the cards for next month.