FAA Reauthorization Goes Into Overtime
While machinations continue on future funding of the FAA, the House and Senate last week approved a six-week extension of the current law. The House passed its version of FAA reauthorization legislation on September 20, but the Senate version has not yet been debated on the floor. House bill H.R.2881 would continue to have general aviation pay its share of FAA funding through increased fuel taxes, but the Senate bill (S.1300) as now written would add a $25-per-flight fee for turbine IFR aircraft to fund ATC modernization. General aviation interests have vehemently opposed the fee, arguing that it would be only a matter of time before such charges drift downward to all of GA. AOPA believes that an amendment to strike that fee would have a good chance of passing the full Senate. President Bush has threatened to veto the final bill if it contains (as the current House bill does) a provision to reopen contract negotiations between the FAA and the air traffic controllers.