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US Senate pushed to reauthorise the FAA
The NBAA joins those urging the Senate to move ahead on the long-term FAA reauthorisation bill and issues a call to action to its members.

As time ticks down toward expiration of the latest short-term extension of FAA reauthorisation, the National Business Aviation Association has joined with 22 other aviation groups in sending an urgent call for US Senate leadership to mark up and pass the comprehensive five year FAA reauthorisation bill that remains under deliberation in the chamber.

In a letter to Senate majority leader Charles Schumer, minority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation chair senator Maria Cantwell and ranking member Senator Ted Cruz, the groups write: 'We are grateful for the work in pursuit of a long-term, bipartisan and commonsense FAA reauthorisation bill. As stakeholders across the entire aviation sector, we urge you to markup S.1939, the FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2023 … as soon as possible.'

As well signing on to the letter, NBAA is asking its members to reach out to Senate leaders, urging them to pass the FAA reauthorisation bill.

'If the FAA is not promptly reauthorised, the national airspace system will not have the proper staffing and infrastructure to keep aviation moving,' the call to action reads. 'Today's service disruptions and capacity reductions will be further exacerbated. We simply can't afford our national air system to continue to be stretched so thin. We need to move forward on safety, not backward.'

Introduced on June 13 of last year, S.1939 remains stalled in the Commerce Committee. The US House of Representatives passed its own FAA reauthorisation bill last July by a strong bipartisan vote of 351-69; without consensus in the Senate, however, Congress has resorted to two short-term extensions of the last FAA reauthorisation, passed in 2018, to maintain agency operations.

With the latest extension due to expire on 8 March, 'aviation workers, the industry and passengers need a long-term reauthorisation bill now,' the letter continues. 'We need to ensure that our airspace continues to be the safest aviation system in the world. To maintain this global gold standard in safety, the FAA must have the stability and direction provided for by a multi-year reauthorisation bill.'

FAA staffing and infrastructure are also at risk, the groups add, at a time when the national airspace system is grappling with delays, service disruptions and capacity limits. The lack of a long-term reauthorisation measure also threatens the country's aviation sector, which supports more than 10 million jobs and represents approximately five per cent of US gross domestic product.

'We simply can't afford our national air system to continue to be stretched so thin,' the groups write. 'That is why it's critical that the Commerce Committee advances the bill so that the House and Senate will have time to complete their work before the 8 March deadline.

'Additional extensions create further delays in the system. We need a long-term authorisation to provide the stability, investment and planning for aviation to meet its mission of safe and efficient transportation.'

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