Congressional Leaders in both the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement to extend the current authorization on Federal Aviation Administration operations at current funding levels through September 2017. The goal would be to reach agreement on a long-term reauthorization bill in that time frame. The bill, which has passed both the House and the Senate, was a typical extension reached at the last minute before the current authorization expires on July 15. The extension is designed to ensure continuity in necessary airlines services similar to the previous extension deal. The bill extends the $3.35 billion authorized from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund annually that was agreed upon in the last six-month extension. The one-year agreement is also designed to avoid disruptions to grant payouts in the federal Airport Improvement Program that funds capital projects at airports while the details of a longer-term bill are being worked out. Most policy provisions that were included in the previous drafts and Senate-passed version of the reauthorization, including transforming air-traffic control into a private or non-profit entity or altering air certification standards, were not addressed in this yearlong extension with an eye towards passing the bill before the deadline.
The compromise does not include any new policy provisions, including airport noise provisions that were strongly advocated by N.O.I.S.E. There is an exception which includes language issuing new regulations for drone usage and for streamlining airport security. Most new policy initiatives will be worked out in the next long-term FAA reauthorization bill. Read more about the extension's provisions here.
N.O.I.S.E. staff will continue to advocate for noise provisions to be included in any long-term reauthorization agreement and will continue to monitor this situation and update N.O.I.S.E. members on any pertinent information. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.