• FAA Re-Authorization Unveiled
  • February 12, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) unveiled a six-year $69 billion Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) re-authorization bill. The bill, which faces significant legislative challenges in getting to the President's desk, proposes to spin off the nation's air traffic control system from one run by the federal government into a private system.

    Democrats on the committee, including ranking member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), are strongly opposed to the change in the air traffic control system.

    DeFazio said the bill could be "held up indefinitely" because of the air traffic control provisions.

    While Democrats say there is broad bipartisan agreement on almost everything but air traffic control corporatization, Chairman Shuster appears unwilling to separate the air traffic proposal from the broader FAA reauthorization bill.

    The air traffic control component of the legislation is a top priority for Shuster and other House Republicans.

    It's not just House Democrats who oppose the effort. House appropriators on both sides of the partisan aisle, in addition to several key Senate Republicans, oppose the effort.

    In addition to the air traffic control component, the legislation would also include provisions aimed at speeding up the FAA's process for certifying aircraft and other equipment. Provisions include the establishment of an advisory committee to improve the process, creating new performance objectives and metrics, and requiring the development of a new resolution process for certain certification activities.