FLIGHT Act Advanced In House
An identical companion bill to the FLIGHT Act introduced earlier this month by Senators Inhofe and Duckworth has been introduced in the House by Representatives Graves and Bustos. With bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, the bill’s odds of becoming law improve markedly, but will still require the support of Republican leadership to advance to the floor for votes—as well as the president’s signature. Although President Trump frequently discussed infrastructure investments during the campaign, his post-election infrastructure focus has been tilted more toward privatization of the government’s aviation assets, speaking out in favor of privatizing ATC and some government-owned airports.
The FLIGHT Act’s key provision would give greater flexibility to small airports to roll over their annual $150,000 Non-Primary Entitlement grant for up to five years, allowing the program to fund more significant projects. Importantly for the homebuilt community, the bill would also revise the definition of aeronautical activity to include building experimental aircraft. AOPA and EAA have battled with the FAA for years about whether building experimental aircraft should be an approved aeronautical activity that can be performed in hangars located at airports receiving federal funds. The FAA had taken the position that hangars were only allowed to be used to store or maintain complete aircraft in order to maximize hangar availability for flying airplanes.