In a no-brainer, easily achieved 87-8 vote, the US Senate passed a new FAA reauthorization late Thursday night. Worth $34.5 billion, the bill must be sent next to the US House of Representatives to be voted on. As you can imagine, the House will likely pass the bill with ease as well, as the bill is viewed as a simple, bipartisan decision.
Resulting in the creation or saving of 280,000 jobs, the bill’s objective of job creation and industry stimulation is one that both parties have agreed is a cause worthy of fast action. The FAA has already been granted an extension on funding which will expire on March 31. The rapid movement taken by the Senate and likely again by the House in the coming weeks is a direct result of the impending deadline. Once passed by the House, the bill must signed by President Barack Obama in order to be put into effect.
The bill features funding for some long-awaited projects, such as a GPS-based radar system and modernized air traffic control system. Replacement of these centuries-overdue infrastructures is vital to improving the quality and reliability of our nation’s air travel for both airlines and private jets, as well as overall economic growth. Additionally, through the bill’s loosened restrictions on Washington Reagan National Airport’s perimeter, a greater number of long-range destinations can be serviced from the DC area. By taking advantage of the already limited number of slots at National, airlines will now stand to benefit from shifting frequency from somewhat saturated, redundant regional flights.
Look for this bill to pass, and pass quickly. And when it does, keep an eye out for aviation construction and improvement projects across the nation!