On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed a major FAA reauthorization bill by a 95-3 margin, thus sending the bill to the House and preserving the EAA-supported benefits to general aviation in the measure approved by the Senate Commerce Committee last month.
“The Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan leadership and approval of this bill sends a clear message on a vision that includes a vibrant general aviation community,” said EAA CEO/Chairman Jack J. Pelton. “We thank all the senators who worked hard to include these important GA measures in the bill, such as the aeromedical reform that was part of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.”
In addition, the Senate version of FAA reauthorization does not contain any language in support of ATC privatization or GA user fees. Among the several provisions that support general aviation are:
- Aeromedical reform language that was included in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 passed by the Senate in December
- Direction to the FAA on completing its mandated revisions to FAR Part 23 rules on aircraft certification and airworthiness standards
- FAA authority to conduct fleet-wide authorization to implement the use of a future unleaded aviation fuel under the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI), a program that EAA helped develop and now plays a leadership role
- Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) introduced an EAA-developed amendment that would guarantee that the active construction, restoration, or repair of a personal-use aircraft is a protected aeronautical activity in airport hangars under FAA grant assurances
- Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) introduced a requirement that FAA provide ATC and safety support to aviation events without fees, taxes, or other charges
- Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced an amendment that extends the registration period for noncommercial general aviation aircraft to five years
The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The legislation would authorize spending for the FAA and its programs through September 2017.
“We urge the House to adopt this measure in the same collaborative and bipartisan manner that the Senate exhibited, as it is important to implement FAA reauthorization and avoid the long series of continuing resolutions that we’ve seen in previous years,” Pelton said. “This legislation sets a positive path forward for the world’s best aviation system that serves our entire nation and allows us to pursue our individual freedom of flight.”