Larsen Statement on Federal Aviation Administration Extension

Jul 12, 2016 Issues: 114th Congress Accomplishments, Jobs Labor and the Economy, Transportation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee on Aviation, today voted in favor of a bipartisan agreement to extend the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through September 30, 2017.

The agreement includes important safety, security and consumer protection improvements – including a provision Larsen championed to require the U.S. Department of Transportation to update long-delayed standards for airplane lavatory access among passengers with disabilities. However, the agreement does not streamline FAA certification processes, provide long-term funding for critical aviation programs, nor provide rules to address flight attendant fatigue.

The extension now heads to the Senate where it must be approved and signed into law before FAA authorization expires on July 15th.

“Our aviation system – and the hundreds of thousands of jobs in Washington state that rely on it – will benefit from the funding certainty that a 14 month extension provides,” said Larsen. “But if not for the futile effort to privatize air traffic control we would have seen a major bipartisan overhaul of our national aviation system. We need to set our sights higher than a series of short-term extensions.”

In 2014, the aerospace industry in Washington supported 267,200 jobs, $22.4 billion in labor income and $85.7 billion in business revenues.

Larsen has consistently pushed for long-term FAA re-authorization and called for reforms to streamline the FAA certification process that will help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive and create jobs by saving time, making products safer and transporting them to market more quickly. Additionally, Larsen has called for protections to provide flight attendants with minimum rest periods.

The bill’s major provisions include:

Safety

  • Streamlines processes for approval and interagency cooperation to deploy unmanned aircraft during emergencies such as disaster responses and wildfires.
  • Creates new processes to detect, identify, and mitigate unauthorized operation of unmanned aircraft around airports and critical infrastructure.
  • Directs the FAA to establish a comprehensive and strategic framework to identify and address cybersecurity risks to the aviation system.
  • Strengthens mental health screening for pilots, addressing a factor in the 2015 Germanwings Flight 9525 crash.

Security

  • Strengthens security for foreign airports by requiring comprehensive security assessments for all overseas airports serving the United States and considers the level of information sharing and security capabilities of foreign airports.

Consumers

  • Optimizes checkpoints by redeploying certain TSA personnel and assessing TSA’s staffing allocation model, in order to reduce passenger wait times while enhancing security
  • Requires air carriers to provide a refund of paid baggage fees when items are lost or unreasonably delayed.

Click here for a summary of the bill.

 

###