The House just recently approved a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five more years, now the bill is headed to the Senate. Although the bill does not include reinstations for pilots who were fired or forced to step down because of vaccine mandates, the bill is important for the airline industry because it protects millions of jobs, ensures millions of passengers can continue to fly, and improves runway safety. Continue reading to learn more about what is included on this bill.
The measure — formally titled the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act — passed in a bipartisan 351-69 vote. It now heads to the Senate, where lawmakers are considering their bill to reauthorize the FAA.
Lawmakers in both chambers will have to hash out differences between the legislation by Sept. 30, when the current FAA authorization terminates.
“H.R. 3935 is critical to keeping America the global leader in aviation,” Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said during debate on the House floor Wednesday.
“It’s vital to our economy, to millions of American jobs, and to the 850 million passengers that depend on our National Airspace System every year,” he continued. “If Congress fails to act on a new long-term aviation measure by Sept. 30, when the current FAA law expires, key aviation programs will cease to function.”
The legislation authorizes $4 billion per fiscal year for the Airport Improvement Program, directs the FAA administrator to draw up a plan to expand the agency’s capacity to train air traffic controllers, clarifies language related to ticket refunds for passengers, and addresses safety on runways, among other tenets.
And an amendment from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) that was aimed at requiring airlines to reinstate pilots who were fired or forced to step down because of vaccine mandates did not make it into the bill following a 294-141 vote.