House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership introduced a five-year FAA reauthorization bill April 13—a bipartisan proposal that leaves efforts to reform the air traffic control system behind, focusing instead on stabilizing the agency with consistent funding.

The bill includes proposed funding for FAA’s Operations account that ranges from $10.4 billion in fiscal year 2019 to $11.3 billion in FY2023. Funding for Facilities & Equipment (F&E) would be just less than $3 billion in 2019 and top out at $3.3 billion in 2023. Comparable figures from the administration's FY2019 budget request are $9.9 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. 

The legislation includes $3.35 billion annually in Airport Improvement Program grant funding, but does not raise the $4.50-per-segment passenger facility charge. 

The bill also calls on FAA to put together a task force on certification reform. The group, which would include a cross-section of stakeholders, would develop recommendations for how FAA can improve its certification and oversight and provide input on current initiatives.

The bill was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) and has the backing of leaders from the full committee and its six subcommittees.

“This bill provides many important reforms that will help US manufacturers and job creators lead in a very competitive global marketplace,” Shuster said. “This legislation ensures long-term investment and stability in aviation infrastructure for America’s large, small, and rural communities, and it addresses issues to help maintain the safety of our system.”

Sean Broderick, sean.broderick@informa.com