No April Fools…
Yesterday, 4/1, the House voted 223-196 to approve the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act (H.R. 658). The bill would reauthorize the FAA’s operations and programs for four years, at an overall funding level of $59.7 billion. The House bill essentially rolls back FAA spending authorization to 2008 levels. The House bill does not include an amendment mirroring the one included in S. 223 which exempts modeling activity conducted in accordance with a community-based set of guidelines from regulation.
At this point both the House and Senate versions of the FAA Re-Authorization legislation will move to Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the two bills. In conference committee the Senate amendment could be adopted into the final bill in its current form, it could be modified in a compromise between the House and Senate, or it could be deleted from the bill altogether. We are cautiously optimistic the Senate amendment will survive the debate and will be included in the bill when it’s sent to the Executive Branch for signature.
-Rich Hanson, AMA Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Representative