On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed the bipartisan Senate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2023. The legislation includes several provisions to strengthen safety standards and oversight at the FAA and responds to safety concerns from recent aviation accidents and near-misses.
The AMA Government Affairs team is happy to announce that AMA’s amendment was included in the bill’s Managers Package, which will ultimately become part of the final Senate bill. AMA would like to thank Senator Todd Young of Indiana and Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska for sponsoring the amendment. We want to thank the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for recognizing the need for reform and ultimately including the aforementioned amendment.
Some of the notable changes in the bill include:
- UAS operations permitted up to controlled airspace without FAA authorization (not just at fixed flying sites)
- A process to request flights into controlled airspace from uncontrolled airspace
- CBO designation to self-declare FRIAs
- CBOs must be TRUST Administrators
- Updates educational provision to allow elementary and secondary schools to fly under recreational rules
- Provides $1 million a year for Know Before You Fly
- Changes the term “sanctioned events” to “CBO-sponsored operations”
- Uses the word “drone” in place of UAS (definition remains the same from 2018)
- Better clarifies large model aircraft operations in Class G airspace
Although we are one step closer to new legislation for our community, there is still much to be done. AMA looks forward to working toward a final FAA Reauthorization bill with both the House of Representatives and Senate over the next few weeks and months.
To remain current with the most recent government-related news, regularly visit the AMA Government Affairs blog. If you have any further questions or concerns, contact the Government Affairs department at (765) 287-1256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.