Aviation groups breathed a collective sigh of relief late Saturday after Congress passed an interim measure that avoids a government shutdown and also gives the FAA some breathing room. The bill, which was signed by President Biden a few hours before the midnight deadline to avert a shutdown, pushes that date 45 days to Nov. 17 and also extends the FAA’s authorization until the end of the year. However, if the government shuts down in November, the FAA will also lose its funding.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Rich Santa said the reprieve is welcome but the politicians need to use the time to craft lasting legislation. “Funding must be secured as soon as possible—not 45 days from now,” Santa said. After a week of fractious political maneuvering, both houses eventually approved a stripped-down bill that keeps the government running but doesn’t allow any funding for Ukraine, a major sticking point in the debate.