June 19, 2023
In June 2023, U.S. House and Senate congressional committees with jurisdiction over the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced bipartisan reauthorization bills. The bills are similar but differ in significant ways, including titles, funding levels, and page numbers. Typically, the FAA Reauthorization occurs every five (5) years – though not without help from short-term extensions – and sets funding allocations for aviation programs, including Workforce Development and Global Safety Improvements. The current law, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-254), will expire on September 30, 2023.
H.R. 3935 - House FAA Reauthorization Bill
On June 9, leadership from the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) introduced H.R 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (SGRLAA), including T&I Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA) and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN). As introduced, FAA Reauthorization Bill H.R. 3935 would provide $104 billion in funding for the FAA over five (5) years, resulting in a 7.5% increase over the current law, and have a direct effect on our craft. AMFA has provided direct input on and endorses this bill on behalf of our craft and the industry. A few highlights of the original version of H.R. 3935 that just passed the House are:
- SEC 301 - Extension of aviation workforce development programs
- SEC 302 - Improving aviation workforce development programs
- SEC 313 - Airman certification system working group and standards
- SEC 505 - Global aircraft maintenance safety improvements
S.1939 - Senate FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023
Also on June 9, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (CST) introduced the Upper Chamber’s version of the FAA Reauthorization, the S. 1939 - FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. This bill, which is also bipartisan, was introduced by CST Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chair Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). This legislation would provide $107 billion over five (5) years from FY 2024 – FY 2028, representing a 10.6% increase over current law, and is similar to the House’s bill in many ways. A few highlights of the original version of S.1939 are:
- SEC 311 - FAA oversight of repair stations located outside of the U.S.
- SEC 312 - Alcohol and drug testing and background checks on repair stations outside of the U.S.
- SEC 326 - Whistleblower protections
- SEC 503 - Choose Aerospace ATEC
- SEC 504 - Military aviation maintenance technician rules
- SEC 510 - Airman Certification Standards (ACS)
S. 1939 currently sits in recess due to a disagreement regarding pilot training hours among committee members.
S.1939 contains all the language that AMFA has been directly advocated for in D.C. over the last several years. We’re confident in the process and hopeful that both the House and Senate final bills will retain the language required to support our class and craft. I will continue to provide updates as the Senate bill moves through the process.
Robert R. Cush
Director of Government Affairs