Aviation Trade Groups Urge Senate To Pass FAA Reauthorization Bill

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More than 22 aviation trade groups have sent an “urgent call” in a letter urging Senate leaders to pass a comprehensive five-year FAA reauthorization bill that remains under deliberation in the chamber.

“We are grateful for the work in pursuit of a long-term bipartisan and commonsense FAA reauthorization bill,” the groups said in a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and ranking member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). “As stakeholders across the entire aviation sector, we urge you to markup S. 1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 ... as soon as possible.”

The National Business Aviation Association is encouraging members to contact the Senate leaders to request that they pass the bill.

S. 1939 was introduced on June 13, 2023, and remains stalled in the Commerce Committee. The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill in July without Senate consensus. In the meantime, Congress has passed two short-term extensions of the FAA reauthorization bill passed in 2018 to maintain FAA operations. The latest extension expires March 8.

Without the reauthorization, the National Airspace System will not have the proper staffing and infrastructure to keep aviation moving, the call to action says. “We simply can’t afford our national air system to continue to be stretched so thin. We need to move forward on safety, not backward.”

The letter comes at a time when the National Airspace System is working with delays, service disruptions and capacity limits. Additional extensions lead to further delays in the system, the letter says.

“We need a long-term authorization to provide the stability, investment and planning for aviation to meet its mission of safe and efficient transportation,” it says. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.