Today, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed a long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. Congressman Sam Graves, (MO06), released the following statement:
“As a professional pilot and user of the system, I can say with certainty that today’s passage will give the aviation community long-term stability – a much needed development after years of short-term extensions. Moreover, we are ensuring that all who rely on our airspace can continue flying safely, securely and freely. America has always been a leader and pioneer in aviation since the days of the Wright Brothers and passage of this bill ensures that continues.”
Authorizes a $1 billion per year grant program for airports which will result in an additional $5 billion grant opportunities for airports over five-years, clarifies FAA policy on receiving payment for living history flights, allows for more widespread testing of replacement fuels for lead based aviation fuel, requires FAA to restore the ‘all makes and models’ certificate for pilots of experimental aircraft, extends the aircraft registration period from 3 years to 7 years, require FAA to mediate scheduling disputes between FAA approved airshows and major sporting events, expansion of state block grant authority from 10 to 20 states; prevented discriminatory taxes at airports that target certain industries like rental cars, clarifies that construction of an aircraft in any stage is in compliance with FAA hangar use policy, requiring a report on the use of ‘proprietary exclusive right’ by airports, ensuring the Oklahoma Registry office is designated an ‘essential government service’, ends FAA fees on large aviation events like Oshkosh and Sun n’ Fun, creates a $5 million aviation workforce development program, which is a bill I introduced (H.R. 5701), to promote careers in aviation technicians and mechanics, strong protections for the successful and popular contract tower program, review of designated pilot examiners (DPE) regulations to ensure we have an adequate number deployed and available to perform these important duties, key reforms from the Pilots Bill of Rights II/Fairness for Pilots legislation to ensure greater due process for pilots facing FAA enforcement action.
Another key reform included in the bill is the long overdue reforms that streamline the FAA certification process. Graves published a bipartisan op-ed in The Hill touting the importance of these reforms.
“I previously worked on the precursor reforms to this process with the passage of my bill, the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act in 2013. I look forward to seeing the benefits of these reforms applied more broadly to the aviation manufacturing community as the certification reform provisions contained in the House FAA bill go into effect.”