NASAO Commends Passage of FAA Reauthorization Bill

John Shea
John Shea

The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) welcomes House and Senate passage of a compromise five-year FAA reauthorization bill — the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R.302).  The Senate today followed the House’s action last week and passed this bill by a vote of 93-6, sending the bill to President Trump to be signed into law.

“NASAO commends Congress for passing a long-term FAA Reauthorization bill that recognizes the import role of our nation’s general aviation and small airports; makes much-needed and long overdue reforms; and provides funding certainty to critical programs,” said NASAO Interim President and CEO John Shea.

Shea noted that today is a landmark day for general aviation and thanked not only the chairmen and ranking members of the transportation committees in both chambers for their leadership in working together on consensus, bipartisan legislation, but also the membership of the committees for dedicating their time over the past two years to making FAA reauthorization a reality without privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system.

“We applaud the new supplemental funding authorization of roughly $1 billion per year targeted towards small and rural airports; these funds have the potential to bring much needed improvements to our nation’s small airports and to infuse an economic revival in many rural areas. We look forward to working with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to make this funding a reality,” said Shea. “Our membership, the states’ aviation and transportation agencies, also look forward to continuing to work with DOT and FAA on identifying the airports and projects that are the most critical to meeting state, regional, and national needs and that will ensure that we continue to enjoy the safest and most efficient air transportation system in the world.”

Other significant provisions of H.R. 302 that will benefit the nation’s airports include: reforms to the Non-Primary Entitlement Program, expansion of the State Block Grant Program, reforms to the Contract Tower Program, alternatives for runway pavement specifications, reauthorization of the Essential Air Service and Small Community Air Service Development Program, and several provisions related to Unmanned Aircraft System and Unmanned Traffic Management.