WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Kean, Jr. Thursday applauded the successful passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act in the US House.
Congressman Kean, a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, championed this bipartisan legislation that represents a significant milestone in ensuring the safety and efficiency of our nation’s airspace while fostering innovation in the aviation industry.
The FAA Reauthorization Act, which passed with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle, is a comprehensive package that addresses critical issues facing the aviation sector. This landmark legislation will have far-reaching impacts on the safety and effectiveness of air travel, as well as on the continued growth of the aviation industry and its vital contributions to the American economy.
The legislation included an amendment passed on the House Floor with broad bipartisan support authored by Rep. Kean which would provide more information about flight delays.
“I am thrilled to see the FAA Reauthorization Act pass through the House with bipartisan support,” Kean said. “This legislation is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together for the greater good of our nation. It not only strengthens our commitment to the safety of all travelers but also drives innovation, making the United States a global leader in aviation technology and infrastructure.”
Congressman Kean had four amendments successfully passed in the bill:
- Amendment to provide more detailed information about the cause of a commercial passenger flight delay or cancellation to provide transparency to the traveling public.
- Amendment to direct the FAA to consult the DOD regarding powered-lift aircraft operations.
- Congressman Kean’s championed policy to mandate secondary cockpit barriers on all commercial passenger aircraft to prevent hostile individuals from accessing the cockpit and avoid another tragedy similar to 9/11.
- Amendment prohibiting drones from certain foreign adversaries: Federal agencies like the DOT depend on drones to capture footage of critical infrastructure in areas typically hard to access. Ensuring their equipment is not compromised by Chinese drone manufacturers who are heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is critical to maintaining our national security.
Key provisions of the FAA Reauthorization Act include:
Improves FAA Efficiency and Operations
The bill makes targeted changes to the organizational structure of the FAA to improve overall efficiency of the agency, allow for innovation, and streamline the regulatory process. The bill does so in a manner that will not harm the FAA’s ongoing efforts while simultaneously ensuring the agency is better organized to lead in an advanced aviation future.
Strengthens America’s General Aviation (GA) Sector
Most of our aviation professionals, including pilots and mechanics, get their start in GA. This bill recognizes that the success of the United States aviation system is built upon a strong GA foundation and includes the first-ever general aviation title to secure our aviation industry’s long-term success.
Grows the Aviation Workforce
Our aviation system is experiencing a shortage of qualified workers, including pilots, mechanics, and air traffic controllers. This bill addresses workforce challenges by removing barriers to pursuing aviation careers, expanding the aviation workforce pipeline, improving training standards, and more.
Invests in United States Airport Infrastructure
Airports connect our communities, create jobs, and drive economic growth. The bill authorizes robust funding for airport infrastructure, including prioritizing investments for small and GA airports, and streamlining project delivery.
Upholds America’s Gold Standard in Safety
America’s aviation system is safe, but the system is not immune to stress and must continually be made safer. The bill addresses several safety issues, including the recent uptick in runway incursions, to ensure the United States, and the FAA, remain the world’s gold standard in aviation safety.
Encourages Aviation Innovation
America has been a leader in aviation innovation. Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic hurdles, endless research, and pilot programs that are not leading to the development and incorporation of new technologies, China and other countries are beginning to surpass the United States. The bill encourages the safe yet more efficient testing and integration of new technologies, such as drones and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), into the airspace.
Enhances the Passenger Experience
While many parts of the aviation system typically function without incident despite a growing volume of travelers, one weak link in a trip can ruin a passenger’s experience. The bill delivers reforms that will enhance the experience for the traveling public.
Authorizes the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
As the independent Federal agency responsible for investigating all civil aviation accidents, in addition to accidents in other modes of transportation, the NTSB plays an important role in transportation safety. Last authorized in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, this bill provides updates to the NTSB’s authorization.