The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauded passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of a reauthorization measure for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure continued progress on modernizing the nation’s aviation system.
In addition, the bill, titled the "FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011" (H.R. 658), preserves the general aviation fuel tax mechanism, rather than imposing new, onerous user fees.
"We commend the House for this action to strengthen our nation´s aviation system by approving this FAA reauthorization measure," NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said. "The aviation community has long said that full Congressional passage of a reauthorization bill will help the FAA develop its long-term modernization plans, and the passage of the House bill is an important step in that direction."
The Senate passed its version of FAA reauthorization in mid-February. Earlier this month, NBAA was among 33 aviation organizations and companies that sent a joint letter to House leaders urging swift passage of H.R. 658. The letter notes, "H.R. 658 contains many provisions important to the aviation community, including strengthening the ability of FAA to implement the procedures, policies, and technology necessary for the success of NextGen."
Bolen noted that the House FAA reauthorization package includes language to preserve the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program. The language was welcomed by NBAA earlier this week, when it was officially included in the manager´s amendment for the FAA bill.
"Through this bill, the House underscores the importance of the BARR program, having identified its preservation among the priorities for the FAA reauthorization package," Bolen said. "We are pleased that this FAA bill reflects our industry´s concern on this issue, and others, including the need to accelerate progress toward a ´NextGen´ aviation system, expanding system capacity, enhancing safety and further reducing the industry´s environmental footprint. As the House and Senate convene to reconcile the two reauthorization measures, we urge conferees to complete a multi-year reauthorization as soon as possible."