Senate debates FAA bill

Washington – Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) recently warned Republicans and Democrats that if issues with the Federal Aviation Administration Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S. 223) were not resolved by Feb. 14, he would file cloture on the bill, forcing it to come up for a vote.

The bill, introduced Jan. 27 by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), is under consideration on the Senate floor. Among the amendments is a proposed requirement that the FAA Administrator initiate a new rulemaking proceeding regarding flight time limitations and rest requirements for pilots.

Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also convened a hearing Feb. 8-9 to discuss the FAA reauthorization bill, which is set to expire March 31. The last four-year reauthorization bill was enacted in 2003 and covered fiscal years 2004-2007.

Since Sept. 30, 2007, FAA has operated on a series of short-term extensions. In addition to funding for airport personnel salaries and facilities, reauthorization of the bill would fund the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

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