The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced H.R. 3935,  the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Actby a unanimous bipartisan 63-0 vote. H.R. 3935 still needs approval by the entire House before it moves to the Senate. The bill was introduced on June 9th and was passed by the committee on June 14th.

“This bipartisan bill is critical to America’s global leadership in aviation, to our economy and millions of jobs, and to making the entire system safer and more efficient for all users and the traveling public,” said Chairman Sam Graves. “From the first ever GA title in an FAA reauthorization, to measures broadening the pipeline of future aviation professionals, to the needed investments in the system’s infrastructure and more, this bill will help secure the United States’ position as the gold standard in aviation safety and innovation. I appreciate the work of all Committee members in developing this bill and considering it, along with over 100 amendments, over the last two days. I now look forward to moving this bill through the House of Representatives in the coming weeks and getting a reauthorization across the finish line before the current law expires in September.”

The U.S. Senate recently introduced their version of the legislation, S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. The goal of the Act to ensure the United States has safe, reliable and resilient air travel, stronger consumer protections for the flying public, advanced research in aviation innovation and a modernized national airspace system to maintain the gold standard in aviation safety for years to come.

The Senate’s version of the Act contained a provision that would provide the Federal Aviation Administration with authority to fine for violations of the use of C-UAS detection and mitigation equipment that impact the safety of the national airspace.

“When we fly we expect to get where we’re going, safely, at a reasonable cost. But with mass flight cancellations, runway near-misses, and skyrocketing prices, Americans are getting frustrated,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell. “The bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act will help get the air travel system soaring again by improving safety and service. The bill provides funding for the latest safety technology on runways, and to hire more air traffic controllers, pilots, and mechanics. The bill also sets the first-ever clear ticket refund standards for delayed flights and will penalize airlines that sell tickets on flights that they don’t have the staff or technology to operate. I look forward to moving the legislation through the Committee.”

Both the House and Senate appear to be on a productive path forward, but much work must be done before the Act becomes law. The work in Congress over the Summer of 2023 and the eventual passage of the Act will set the stage for crewed and uncrewed aviation in the United States for years to come.

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Post Image- Aerial view of Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) (Image Credit: Adobe Stock by Simon)