Senate Passes Five-Year FAA Reauthorization Bill


The U.S. Senate passed a five-year extension of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday evening, just one day ahead of its expiration date.  

The $105 billion bipartisan bill dubbed “The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act” was overwhelmingly approved in a vote of 88-4. Following its passage, the Senate also approved a one-week extension to ensure the House had enough time to vote on the bill before it gets sent to the president’s desk for final approval.

According to the Senate, the reauthorization bill “sets national priorities to strengthen aviation safety standards, grow air traffic controller & safety inspector workforce, implement safety technology on runways & in cockpits” among other initiatives. While the package does not include an amendment to increase the pilot retirement age from 65 to 67, it does include language to increase the cockpit voice recorder length from two hours to 25 hours.

The legislation was stalled for several days in the Senate this week, primarily over provisions to increase flights into Reagan Washington National Airport and unrelated measures proposed by some congressional leaders.

The FAA reauthorization is considered the last “must pass” measure for Congress before this fall.

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.


    • Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation?
      So lower costs and less red tape and freer airspace and building more GA airports? That sounds wonderful!

  1. Yeah, well the deal still isn’t done. Now it goes back to the House so they can diddle with it some more.

  2. When the FAA screams safety, safety and safety, it’s just like a politician screaming, “it’s for the children”. That translates into, we’ll do what we always do, cost you much, much more and tax you to death. It’s good for the government and bad for us!

  3. Absolutely correct. “Safety” is always used as support when no measurable benefit can be described. Past practice and performance should be measured before additional funding is given

  4. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned in these articles: the (modest) expansion of BasicMed made it through the House-Senate negotiations (wasn’t originally in the Senate version). This allows BasicMed folks to fly 7-seaters up to 12,500 lbs. Might bring a few more piston twins / SETPs into the approved list…