Senators Push For FAA Bill ASAP

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Thirty-five senators have signed on to a letter (PDF) calling for the passage of a long-term FAA funding bill before the end of the year, AOPA said on Tuesday. The letter was circulated by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is a pilot, and received bipartisan support from both Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "From rural America to our largest cities, the entire country will benefit from what the FAA bill will provide," the letter says, adding that the bill would create a safer and more efficient aviation system, while providing good jobs in construction and technology. The FAA has been operating on short-term funding resolutions since its last authorization bill expired in September 2007. "We're pleased to see that members of the Senate have taken the initiative to voice the necessity of passing an FAA funding bill this year," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. AOPA supports the Senate bill, Fuller said, which would fund the FAA through aviation fuel taxes, ticket taxes, and a contribution from the general fund, with no new user fees.

If the Senate bill passes, the next step would be to go to a conference committee to work out differences with the House version. The final bill would then go to the White House for presidential approval.