2-Feb-2012 10:09 AM

House & Senate leaders reach agreement on FAA reauthorisation

US House and Senate leaders announced (01-Feb-2012) they have reached agreement on long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) legislation. The measure, expected to be voted on by the full House and Senate before the current short-term funding extension expires on 17-Feb-2012, includes the following highlights:

  • Provides the following funding:
    • FAA Operations: USD38.3 billion;
    • Airport Improvement Program: USD13.4 billion;
    • FAA Facilities and Equipment account: USD10.9 billion;
    • Research, Engineering and Development: USD672 million.
  • Funds safety programmes, NextGen air traffic control modernisation, the Airport Improvement Program and FAA operations through FY2015;
  • Sets timelines for FAA action on the safe integration of unmanned aerial systems into the US airspace system;
  • Accelerates deployment of NextGen technologies and strengthens accountability for the progress on NextGen;
  • Streamlines environmental reviews for new, more efficient flight paths;
  • Labour reforms of the National Mediation Board (NMB);
  • Limits regulation on the lithium battery industry;
  • Eliminates some subsidies within the Essential Air Service programme;
  • Revises the inspection regime for commercial aircraft that are inspected overseas;
  • Establishes the process for consolidation of outdated FAA air traffic control facilities;
  • Enacts passenger protections for airline passengers. [more - original PR]