The Wait Is Over: FAA Reauthorization Bill Signed Into Law
February 14, 2012 - President Obama today signed the FAA Reauthorization Bill into law, ending a five-year wait for long-term FAA funding and ending a string of 23 short-term funding extensions. One week after the Senate passed the measure and sent it to the White House, the president approved the measure that offers a number of victories for GA. Among those are no user fee provisions or fuel tax increases, as well as funding for:
- NextGen air traffic modernization and implementation
- Unleaded avgas research and safe deployment
- $13.4 billion for airport improvement projects
While it is not specifically funded, the bill also authorizes the Department of Transportation to develop an incentive program to help GA equip for the NextGen transition.
The reauthorization bill also contains language strongly supported by EAA to benefit airports and vintage aircraft owners. The bill would enable:
- Residential through-the-fence agreements between airport sponsors and adjacent landowners, where they make operational sense, without being in violation of FAA funding grant assurances.
- The release of certain vintage aircraft type certificate and design data essential to safely maintain and operate vintage aircraft when they are no longer supported by a manufacturer.
"We appreciate all the efforts of lawmakers – especially those in the General Aviation Caucuses in the House and Senate – that made this legislation possible, as well as the aviators throughout the country who contacted lawmakers in support of the measure," said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. "We still have many battles ahead, especially on the user fee issue, but stability in FAA funding is a plus for everyone in aviation."