FAA Reauthorization Bill Back In Play

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A new bill that would reauthorize the nation's aviation programs for another four years was introduced in the U.S. House on Monday. The bill does not call for any new aviation user fees, and would authorize nearly $70 billion in spending for the FAA through 2012. "This legislation is long overdue," said U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "Short-term funding extensions and continuing resolutions have led to delays in critical capital projects. Timely passage is needed to sustain FAA's programs and keep the FAA moving forward on airport development and the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)." Oberstar added that despite the past delays, he believes the new bill will move forward quickly. "We have a new President and a new Congress," he told EAA. "This time we'll get the job done." The bill was the subject of a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon.

The bill in its current form would authorize $16 billion in spending for the Airport Improvement Program, $13 billion for FAA facilities and equipment, $39 billion for FAA operations, and $1.35 billion for research, engineering and development.