• FAA Re-Authorization Moves in House
  • February 22, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • On Thursday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a mark-up of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) re-authorization bill introduced by Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) last week.

    During the mark-up, House Republicans defeated an effort by committee Democrats to derail their efforts to spin off the air traffic control system on a party-line vote.

    The center-piece of the Shuster FAA re-authorization effort is the transfer of about 80 percent of the FAA’s workforce to a private company that would oversee the movement of aircraft in-flight and take over a $40 billion modernization of the air traffic control system.

    The bill after mark-up also prohibits in-flight cell phone calls, requires the FAA to move more rapidly in regulating drones, requires airlines to refund baggage fees if bags are overdue by more than 24 hours, gives flight attendants an additional hour of rest between flights, and bans vaping and the use of electronic cigarettes on airplanes.

    The committee rejected amendments that would regulate the size of seats on airplanes and that would have regulated the shipping of lithium-ion batteries.

    The prospects for the bill on the floor remain murky given opposition from Democrats as well as Appropriators and Ways and Means Committee members who object to the air traffic control provisions because of their loss of jurisdictional oversight.