Senate passes FAA reauthorization bill

February 22, 2011 at 9:44 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: ABC News

(Feb 17, 2011) The Senate tonight passed the $35 billion Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill by a vote of 87-8 after weeks of debate.

The FAA bill would help streamline the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System – known as NextGen – a nationwide project designed to change the country’s system from a ground-based one to a satellite-based one using GPS technology. The program, the 2004 brainchild of former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, would improve aviation safety and capacity, save airlines money and cut down on delays and pollution, according to proponents.

In addition, Democrats have touted the FAA measure as the “first jobs bill” of the new Congress, saying it would save or create an estimated 280,000 jobs.

The bill – a two-year extension – now heads to the House. The timing of tonight’s final passage was important because senators were eager to pass it before the Presidents’ Day recess. Upon their return to work on Feb. 28, lawmakers will have only five days to extend federal funding to prevent a government shutdown on March 4.  [Full story]

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