Larsen, DeFazio on House Passage of a Six-Month FAA Extension

Sep 28, 2017 Issues: Transportation

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the top-Ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Aviation, Peter DeFazio (OR-04), the top-Ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today reacted after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a short-term, six-month Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extension.

“I am disappointed,” said Larsen. “Instead of celebrating a bipartisan, long-term, and comprehensive FAA bill, Congress is once again on the verge of passing a short-term extension. This Congress alone, the Aviation Subcommittee has explored issues related to growth in the drone and commercial space industry, modernizing the national airspace as part of the FAA’s NextGen program, and expediting safety certification so U.S. manufacturers can get products to market more quickly. Unfortunately, moving the ball down the field on these issues – which is required to maintain the competitiveness of American aviation – has been torpedoed yet again by a controversial plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system.”

“Here we are again. Yet another short-term extension to keep the lights on at the FAA while Republicans insist on wasting more time on their crusade to privatize our Nation’s air traffic control system and hand over billions of dollars in public assets to a private corporation run by the major airlines. We could immediately pass a bipartisan, long-term bill that improves safety, enhances the air travel experience, encourages innovation and emerging technologies, provides for stable aviation program funding, and makes needed and targeted reforms to critical FAA programs. But instead, the House passed a short-term extension weighed down with non-FAA related Republican priorities. I urge my Republican colleagues to drop their futile effort to give away our public airspace to special interests and work with Democrats on a long-term bill,” said DeFazio.

In the 115th Congress, Larsen led a series of hearings on growth in the drone and commercial space industry, modernizing the national airspace as part of the FAA’s NextGen program, alleviating congestion and improving user experience at Sea-Tac and reforming aircraft certification to help U.S. manufacturers and transport products to market more quickly. 

The short-term FAA extension passed the House today after House Republicans failed to bring up for a vote the 21st Century AIRR Act, a long-term reauthorization that includes a controversial plan to strip air traffic control functions from the FAA and give them to a private corporation.