Pushed Two More Months. FAA Funding Extension Clears House, Senate

Continuing Resolution Contains New Safety Measures

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate cleared a bill late Thursday extending the authorization of the FAA for two months. The extension includes language strengthening aviation safety.

The new safety measures would require that every commercial passenger airline pilot hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, thereby increasing the minimum training from 250 flight hours to 1,500 flight hours to fly a commercial passenger plane. It would be required of the FAA to update the minimum standards to earn an ATP.

In addition, the extension requires the FAA to implement National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations dealing with pilot training skills, including that pilots are trained on stall and upset recovery and that airlines offer remedial training to pilots if necessary.

The two-month extension also contains a mandate that the FAA create a database of each pilot’s comprehensive training record that includes licenses held, aircraft ratings, check rides and other proficiency tests.

New pilot flight time and duty rules would have to be updated by the FAA within one year.

House and Senate negotiators who are working out differences in the multi-year reauthorization have already reached a compromise on the aviation safety language that is to be added to the extension. There are a few major differences between the House and Senate versions of HR 1586, the multi-year reauthorization, including airport fees, new service proposals and a measure that would change labor laws making it easier for FedEx ground workers to unionize.

Congress now has through September 30 to continue trying to reach an agreement on the long-term bill. However, Congress-watchers say it appears likely that a bill will not be finished this year and a new bill will need to be re-introduced in the next Congress and the process will begin again.

Source: aero-news.net; The Aero News Network