FAA Reauthorization Takes Center Stage in House and Senate
Both chambers of Congress are moving quickly to consider legislation that will effect a long-overdue reauthorization of FAA funding for several years. This time, Senate Commerce Committee chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is touting the FAA Air Transportation, Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S. 223) as the first jobs bill of the 112th Congress. Nearly identical to multi-year FAA legislation that the Senate passed 93-0 early last year, it resurrects a prohibition on Stage I and Stage II turbojets weighing 75,000 pounds or less. In the House, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), new chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has scheduled two hearings next week on new FAA legislation. When Republicans took control of the House this year, Mica called FAA reauthorization a top priority. He said a long-term reauthorization bill will result in job creation and reform and streamline FAA programs and processes. Meanwhile, 116 members of the House have signed a letter saying user fees would be bad for general aviation.