FAA Reauthorization and Modernization

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A five-year battle to provide long-term direction and funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came to an end February 14, as President Barack Obama signed H.R. 658, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 into law. The bill provides $63.4 billion to fund the agency through 2015, including approximately $11 billion towards the FAA's proposed Next Generation (“NextGen”) air traffic control system.

Key GA Provisions of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act

March 21, 2012

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 not only provides necessary, long-term authorization to ensure the U.S. air transportation system remains the largest, safest and most efficient in the world. The act impacts a wide variety of aviation programs, including general avaition (GA). NBAA has develeped an analysis document of key provisions in the act, inlcuding the following:

Multi-Year Authorization

Authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration from date of enactment through the end of FY 2015. Because the bill covers multiple years it will provide much needed predictability and stability to FAA programs.

Funding Levels

Authorizes FAA at approximately current funding levels (not adjusted for inflation) through the duration of the bill.

No New User Fees

Does not establish any new operational user fees on any segment of aviation.

GA Fuel Taxes Largely Unchanged

Does not impose any new per flight taxes nor does it change existing fuel tax rates for most Part 91 and Part 135 flights. It does, however, change the tax structure for Part 91subpart K (fractional) flights by treating such flights as non-commercial. As a result of this change, which has been a priority for fractional operators for many years, fractional flights will now be subject to a 14.1 cents per gallon fuel surcharge on the existing GA fuel tax rather than the previous commercial taxes. Also, after March 31, 2012, the Federal Excise Tax exemption for aircraft under 6,000 pounds maximum takeoff weight not operating on an established line will no longer apply to jet aircraft.

Avgas

Directs FAA, in coordination with NASA, to continue R&D activities regarding the transition to unleaded fuel for piston powered aircraft.

Foreign Repair Stations

Establishes an annual inspection program for stations located outside the US. consistent with current treaties and agreements.

Stage II Phase-Out

Allows Stage II aircraft weighing less than 75,000 lbs. to continue to operate in the United States until Jan. 1, 2016. The original Stage II legislation introduced in 2004 would have phased out Stage II aircraft under 75,000 in 2007. Operations of Stage II aircraft over 75,000 lbs were ended in 2000.

Charity Flights

Permits the reimbursement of aircraft owners/operators conducting charity flights.

Judicial Review

Provides judicial review of NTSB decisions affecting airmen certificates.

Download the Full Analysis Document (126KB, PDF)

FAA Reauthorization News Archives

February 15, 2012
President Obama Signs FAA Reauthorization Bill into Law
February 6, 2012
NBAA Hails Senate Passage of FAA Reauthorization
February 3, 2012
NBAA Welcomes House Passage of FAA Reauthorization
October 9, 2011
Sen. Begich Speaks Out Against User Fees
September 23, 2011
Industry United in Thwarting Latest User Fee Threat
July 25, 2011
FAA Shutdown Not Disrupting Business Aviation
May 9, 2011
Babbitt Discusses Need For Final FAA Reauthorization Bill
April 4, 2011
House Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill
March 28, 2011
Aviation Coalition Renews Call for FAA Reauthorization Passage
February 9, 2011
NBAA Tells House Subcommittee: FAA Reauthorization Vital to Jobs, Economic Growth
January 31, 2011
House, Senate Leaders Say FAA Reauthorization A Top Priority
January 21, 2011
NBAA Welcomes Congressional Letter to White House Urging 'No User Fees'
July 30, 2010
Congress Extends FAA Authorization, Adds Safety Provisions
May 10, 2010
Industry Letter: NextGen Planning Should Include [All] Stakeholders
May 3, 2010
Congress Approves FAA Extension Through July 3
May 3, 2010
General Aviation is Committed to Safety, System Modernization, and Expanded Capacity
April 8, 2010
Business Aviation Active in 'NextGen' Dialogue at Key Washington Conference
September 20, 2009
NBAA and Others Tell Congress: NextGen Will Grow Jobs
February 9, 2009
Industry Groups Support Tranisition to Next Generation ATC System