For the 23rd time since 2007, the U.S. House on Tuesday passed a short-term extension to the FAA's funding -- but it appears that a more permanent solution is imminent. Leaders in the House and Senate have reportedly worked out their differences and are ready to agree to a long-term funding plan. This week's extension gives them until Feb. 17 to work out the details. One of the thorniest points of contention, about labor rules, has been settled, with a provision that requires 50 percent of airline employees to favor a union before a union election is called, according to The Hill. The House and Senate also still have to work out the actual funding -- the House wants to approve just $14.8 billion, 15 percent below the Senate's $17.4 billion, for four years of operations, according to Business Week.
Among the other issues that will be hashed out in coming weeks are regulations about carrying lithium batteries on cargo aircraft, funding for airport improvement projects, and subsidies for operators who serve rural airports. The assignment of takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., also remains in contention. Senate approval of the short-term bill is expected later this week.