U.S. FAA Administrator raises concerns over reauthorization bill

April 29, 2011 at 8:57 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Air Transport World

US FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt cautioned that he is “concerned” the level of agency funding called for in the reauthorization bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would be too low and, if enacted, could “degrade” safety and efficiency.

The House earlier this month passed a four-year, $59.7 billion FAA reauthorization bill that Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said, “saves $4 billion by streamlining and consolidating FAA programs and facilities, increasing the use of cost-effective programs, and responsibly increasing the role of the private sector in facility operations” (ATW Daily News, April 4).

Speaking Wednesday at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Summit, Babbitt pushed the House and Senate to soon pass a unified reauthorization bill that adequately funds the agency and establishes a fiscal path for the full implementation of the satellite-based NextGen ATC system. The 18th temporary extension of FAA funding expires at the end of May. “For over three-and-a-half years we’ve been operating on extensions,” Babbitt noted. “It’s been very difficult to run an agency on extensions … We need to restore long-term stability to funding.” [Full story]

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