By Alyssa J. Miller
The House and Senate ironed out details on a long-term FAA reauthorization bill Jan. 31, paving the way for a full vote in both houses before the latest short-term funding extension expires Feb. 17.
The FAA has limped along on 23 short-term funding extensions since 2007. The long-term bill would fund the agency through fiscal year 2015.
“The House and Senate agreement shows the support Congress has for funding the FAA and moving forward with ATC modernization and satellite-based navigation,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “This move is long overdue and couldn’t come at a more critical juncture to improve the National Airspace System and keep it the model for countries worldwide.”
AOPA is analyzing the 396-page bill and will report details on general-aviation-related issues. Bill highlights that have emerged include funding for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), along with requirements to accelerate deployment of NextGen technologies across the country and for better accountability of the program’s progress. In addition, the bill would provide $13.4 billion for the Airport Improvement Program.