January 31, 2011

As the 112th Congress stakes out its priorities for the coming weeks, it is clear that the completion of a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is near the top of the to-do list.

At the first meeting held this year by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, incoming Chairman John Mica (R-7-FL) called FAA reauthorization a top priority, stating “The country and the committee deserve as our first objective getting an FAA bill out.” Mica noted the economic importance of aviation in the U.S., and said “a blueprint for the future” is needed for the industry. A House committee hearing on FAA reauthorization is scheduled for February 8, and NBAA plans to submit comments to the committee.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), who chairs the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee – which has jurisdiction over aviation policy – announced that FAA reauthorization would be a priority in that chamber as well. Last Friday, Chairman Rockefeller introduced for consideration the “FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act,” which mirrors the FAA reauthorization package passed by the Senate in 2010. “I am committed to getting this bill to the President’s desk this year,“ Rockefeller said in introducing the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reportedly turned his attention to the matter, and the Senate could consider the legislation in the near term.

NBAA President and CEO welcomed the renewed emphasis in Congress on completing an FAA reauthorization package. “The general aviation community supports continued transformation to a modernized aviation system, and we are pleased that, in the coming weeks, Congress will be focused on this issue,“ Bolen said.

Review NBAA’s position on FAA reauthorization and modernization.

For more information on this issue, contact NBAA’s Lisa Piccione at Lisa Piccione.