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FAA Reauthorization

Reauthorization bills are powerful tools that Congress uses to set agenda for government agencies such as the FAA. The process to move from a bill to a law is extensive. First, a reauthorization review is undertaken by the aviation subcommittees in both the House and Senate, who each draft their own version of a reauthorization bill. From there, the bills are brought to their full committees (the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the House and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in the Senate), where debate and revisions occur. Once accepted by the full committee, the bill is then sent to the House and Senate for review, and each will create their own draft bill to send to a conference committee composed of House and Senate members. The conference committee will create a compromised version of the bill to send back to the full House and Senate for approval. If all goes well and the bill is approved in both chambers, the bill can then be moved to the President’s desk for signature, turning the bill into law.

This process is highly monitored by EAA to ensure that language harmful to general aviation is not included in the bill. In 2018, EAA and the entire GA community achieved great success in removing a provision in the bill that would privatize the ATC system. As the 2023 reauthorization process continues, EAA will maintain a watchful eye on proposed amendments and will fiercely advocate for the rights of general aviation pilots.

EAA provided priorities important to general aviation in statements to both committees in February. In March, EAA’s CEO/Chairman Jack Pelton testified before the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The statements and testimony highlighted the need for Reauthorization to address issues critical to General Aviation, many of which are included in either one or both of the bills.

These bills, the House version in particular, which for the first time incorporates a General Aviation title, include language critical to our community. Important areas include MOSAIC Rulemaking (Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates), Designated Pilot Examiner shortages, medical certification, aircraft registration delays, and the integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

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