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House and Senate Meet on FAA Reauthorization

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV), as well as Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) held a meeting this week to discuss issues still holding up final passage of a FAA reauthorization. The two committees hold jurisdiction over the legislation and concluded during the meeting that committee staff will put forward solutions to all remaining issues by November 30th, except for the divisive House language that would make it more difficult for airline workers to unionize. The issues that committee aides will begin to negotiate are the different funding levels between the two bills, long distance flights at Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport, and a cap on airport fees.

 

Without a new FAA bill, aviation’s “D” grade on the 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure is in danger of not seeing any improvement.  To remain successful, the nation’s aviation systems need robust and flexible federal leadership, a strong commitment to airport infrastructure, and the rapid deployment of NextGen. These can only be made possible through a new FAA reauthorization, which continues to await a conference between the House and the Senate.

 

The current, and 22nd, short term extension will expire on January 31st

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