Congress passes short-term extension of aviation bill

By |  July 13, 2016
Photo credit: desoda via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Congress recently passed a short-term extension of FAA’s policy and tax authority. Photo credit: desoda via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Congress passed another short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) policy and tax authority, reports the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). The measure will last until Sept. 30, 2017.

According to NSSGA, the funding level of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) will remain at $3.35 billion in fiscal 2017, a level that has not changed in six years.

“It is important to keep the FAA authorization stable, and this is a welcome step from Congress,” says Michele Stanley, NSSGA director of government affairs. “But jobs will not be created and aggregates producers will not increase tonnage for much-needed airport and runway improvements without additional AIP funding.”

The extension includes some policy changes related to safety and security and a provision for unmanned aircraft systems. In addition, the bill will increase funding for bomb-sniffing dog teams and require airlines to refund baggage fees if luggage is delayed or lost. Expanding TSA Precheck is also included in the bill.

According to NSSGA, the bill also:

  • Streamlines processes for approval and interagency cooperation to deploy unmanned aircraft during emergencies, such as disaster responses and wildfires;
  • Prohibits unmanned aircraft users from interfering with emergency response activities, including wildfire suppression, and raises civil penalties to not more than $20,000 for those found in violation;
  • Creates new processes to detect, identify and mitigate unauthorized operation of unmanned aircraft around airports and critical infrastructure;
  • Requires the marking of certain towers to improve their visibility to low-flying aircraft and help prevent accidents; and more.

Read the entire summary of the extension here.

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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