US House passes four-year aviation blueprint

A $63 billion plan for aviation programmes which will speed transition to a new air traffic control system based on GPS technology was given final approval by US House of Representatives on Friday.
The compromise deal between the House and Senate authorises $63 billion for Federal Aviation Administration programmes until the 2015 federal budget year.
Passed on a 248-169 vote., the legislation will provide certainty and stability to programmes that are critical to the FAA’s NextGen programme.
“This FAA reform bill will help modernize our aviation system and ensure that it remains the safest system in the world,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica. “Aviation accounts for $1.3 trillion in economic activity, and as much as 11% of GDP. This legislation sets federal policy for one of the most important parts of our economy.
“This bipartisan long-term blueprint for aviation programs is nearly five years overdue,” Mica said. “Democrats failed to pass a reauthorization and address needed reforms during the four years they controlled the House and Senate. 23 short-term hiccup extensions later, Congress is now acting to ensure that the U.S. aviation system remains a strong and vital part of our economy.”
“Along with the many good provisions in this bill, I am especially pleased to see the NextGen air traffic system modernization provisions moving forward,” said Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), the Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee. “Conversion to satellite-based air traffic control and other improvements will truly be revolutionary by allowing more efficient routing, faster and safer travel from point to point, major fuel savings and lower emissions. It’s a major step forward.”
The measure reforms FAA’s oversight of the NextGen air traffic control modernization program and increases accountability by setting milestones and metrics.
Final Senate action is expected Monday, culminating a five-year struggle that included a partial shutdown of the FAA last summer.

Posted in CAAs/ANSPs, News, NextGen

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