The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Wednesday approved bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years, by a unanimous 63-0 vote.
The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act was introduced on June 9 by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., Ranking Member Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves, R-La., and Ranking Member Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and includes several tech provisions to bolster security and innovation within the Federal aviation sector.
The nearly 800-page bill will now go to the House floor for a vote, with hopes of getting it across President Joe Biden’s desk before the FAA’s current authorization expires on Sept. 30.
“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 when his committee passed the bill on June 14 – after two full days of debate.
The committee’s legislation comes after five grueling FAA reauthorization hearings, and one nationwide ground stop when the agency’s Notice to Air Missions system broke down earlier this year – sparking bipartisan concern over the agency’s outdated IT systems and cybersecurity.
The House bill has four sections dedicated to improving aviation technologies and the workforce:
- Improving FAA efficiency and operations: The bill makes targeted changes to the organizational structure of the FAA to improve the overall efficiency of the agency, allow for innovation, and streamline the regulatory process;
- Growing the aviation workforce: This bill addresses workforce challenges by removing barriers to pursuing aviation careers, expanding the aviation workforce pipeline, improving training standards, and more;
- Upholding America’s gold standard in safety: The bill addresses several safety issues, including the recent uptick in runway incursions, to ensure the United States, and the FAA, remain the world’s gold standard in aviation safety; and
- Encouraging aviation innovation: America has been a leader in aviation innovation. Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic hurdles, endless research, and pilot programs that are not leading to the development and incorporation of new technologies, China and other countries are beginning to surpass the United States. The bill encourages the safe yet more efficient testing and integration of new technologies, such as drones and Advanced Air Mobility, into the airspace.
“The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act is the most comprehensive aviation legislation the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has ever approved. This legislation will help to improve the passenger experience for all travelers while laying the groundwork for innovators and new technologies to advance in America,” said Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves.
“This legislation will make the Federal Aviation Administration’s structure more certain, predictable, and capable of facilitating improvements and innovations in our national airspace,” he added. “These transformational changes will ensure that the United States can continue to set the gold standard in aviation safety while leading the world in aviation innovation.”
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Be sure to visit the BWU Technology Partnerships Initiative website to learn more about how our NEOFIX program drives economic growth, promotes policy and infrastructure to improve drone safety and efficiency in various industries, and ensures that drone technology is being used responsibly.