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Will Congress Ever Pass the FAA Reauthorization Bill?

by Allen Howell 6. August 2010 17:24
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Congress is still not getting the job done with the FAA Reauthorization bill.

In previous posts  on Plane Conversations I have discussed the issues surrounding all of the different provisions of the bill and why it still hasnt passed into law.

I still don’t know why Congress has to pile in all these controversial provisions that deal with Unionization of FedEx and landing slots at a couple airports into a major funding bill that has been in a stall for years.

The only reason I can think of is good old fashioned politics and game playing on the hill, and in the mean time issues with safety, upgrade of a severely outdated air traffic control infrastructure and long term funding to run the FAA gets postponed again.   

If those of us who run businesses and make payroll every week ran our business like these guys do business on “The Hill” we would have been out of business a long time ago.

Reporting from the Los Angeles Times by Julia Love, Tribune Washington Bureau in a July 30 article:

 Responding to the deaths of 50 people in the crash last year of a Continental Airlines flight near Buffalo, N.Y., Congress passed legislation Friday requiring increased training and experience for regional airline pilots.
The House passed the measure, which also extends Federal Aviation Administration funding, on a voice vote just before midnight Thursday, and the Senate approved identical legislation Friday morning. No member of either chamber objected.
The legislation requires all airline pilots to log at least 1,500 hours of flight time before flying passengers, up from the current 250-hour minimum for newly hired copilots. The bill also boosts training, mandates the creation of a national database of pilot records and aims to reduce pilot fatigue by directing the FAA to update rules on pilot duty hours.

So under political pressure from the families who suffered loss from the crash in Buffalo congress has passed a special bill dealing with pilot requirements and training for airlines.

 The target for the FAA long term funding reauthorization is now set for September 30.

 Any bets on whether they get it done before election time in November?

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