Cantwell Applauds House Approval of FAA Reauthorization

Reauthorization heads to U.S. Senate for vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the U.S. House’s passage of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 658) earlier today. The conference report now heads to the U.S. Senate for a vote next week.

“This long overdue legislation will mean friendlier skies, greater efficiency for airlines and time savings for travelers, and new aviation jobs,” said Cantwell, the chair of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee. “In the end, implementing GPS-based NextGen technology will bring air transportation navigation up to speed and into the 21st Century. Today’s approval by the House is a step in the right direction.”

The reauthorization’s main provisions include: accelerating the air traffic control system’s conversion from a ground-based system to a GPS-based system, known as NextGen; providing predictable funding for the Airport Improvement Program, which invests in airport infrastructure; improving aviation safety; adding flights from Reagan National Airport to Western states; and improving the safety and integration of unmanned aircraft systems. The bill would reauthorize the FAA through 2015.

As Senate Aviation Subcommittee chair, Cantwell has made the FAA reauthorization a priority. During this week’s Federal Aviation hearing, Committee Chairman Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) recognized her leadership in support of the effort:

“[Senator Cantwell has] worked tirelessly to get this bill done,” Rockefeller said. “She’s made substantial contributions to the entire bill both in the area of slots but most notably on NextGen. And just for our Committee’s interest, from my point of view, I told her at the caucus that she was going to be the point-person on NextGen. She’s brilliant on technology and all those things and she’s very organized. So this bill marks the first of many major contributions she’s going to make.”