US President Donald Trump on Oct. 5 signed a bill into law to reauthorize the FAA until 2023, marking the first long-term reauthorization for the agency since late 2015 and its longest since 1982.

News of the passage of H.R. 302 was met with praise from aviation stakeholders, although groups including airports, airlines and pilots have registered complaints about certain items included in, and missing from, the new law.

“With President Trump’s signature, the FAA Reauthorization Act will begin modernizing airport infrastructure, improving service for the flying public, enhancing transportation safety and security and boosting aviation industry innovation,” Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-South Dakota) said. “Because of this bill, our economy and passengers will benefit as airport construction projects will move forward, aviation manufacturing gets a boost and passengers will gain new legal protections during the experience of air travel.”

The FAA, in a statement lauding the bill’s passage, said the reauthorization bill “delivers a safer, more secure and efficient aviation system to the traveling public and helps fuel economic growth and competitiveness …Today’s signing of the five-year bill authorizes the reliable, predictable funding the FAA needs to invest in these critical priorities.”

The 1,200-pg. law contains numerous provisions that will impact the operations of airlines, airports, manufacturers and passengers. The provision grabbing most headlines is a measure that paves the way for the Department of Transportation to regulate minimum seat sizes on all scheduled carriers operating in the US. The law also orders the US Government Accountability Office to study aircraft lavatory trends, including whether the push to reduce the number or size of lavatories is creating “passenger ... access issues.”

The reaction was more mixed from the airports, which are disappointed the law failed to increase either the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) or passenger-facility charge (PFC) cap—neither of which have increased in years. AIP is set at about $3.3 billion annually, while the maximum PFC charge airports can levy is $4.50 per flight segment.

Airline pilot groups welcomed the bill, and expressed relief that lawmakers excluded proposals to reduce minimum airline first-officer qualifications and to study the feasibility of single-pilot cargo operations. But they are disappointed the law left out a provision to ban so-called flag of convenience carriers, as well as a measure to close the so-called “cargo loophole” to ensure freight pilots get sufficient rest before they fly.

“Signing a long-term reauthorization bill into law provides stability for the FAA to uphold the highest levels of safety we have today, while providing certainty for the millions of passengers and countless businesses that rely on access to safe, affordable travel and shipping options every day,” Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement.

Ben Goldstein, Ben.Goldstein@aviationweek.com