Cantwell Urges Streamlined New Certification Reforms for Nation’s Aerospace Industry

Reforms in FAA reauthorization bill would address processes to boost aviation jobs while maintaining rigorous safety standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Aviation Operation, Safety and Security Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the top Republican on the panel, led a bipartisan coalition of 25 senators calling on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to take action on reforms that would decrease the delays and costs of the certification and regulatory process of new aircraft designs and technologies. The changes would support businesses, job growth, U.S. competitiveness and safety, and would be included as part of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) reauthorization bill.

The senators wrote, “These reforms will help bring new safety technology to the market, strengthen U.S. aviation sales and exports, and more effectively utilize the resources of the FAA and industry” and warned that “a delay in certification can be devastating, particularly for a small business.”

The legislation would help businesses across the aerospace landscape, from large manufacturers to small parts suppliers, become more efficient and competitive. In 2015, Washington’s aerospace industry directly supported 93,800 workers and impacted 252,800 jobs in total. The industry generated 69.9 billion and had a total economic impact of $94.7 billion in Washington.

“We thank Senator Cantwell and Senator Blunt for authoring this letter, and the bipartisan group of 25 senators who signed on to it. Certification reform is critical to facilitating the future of the aviation industry and ensuring it remains an economic engine for the U.S. The signatories on this letter illustrate the bipartisan nature of this issue and just how important it is to enact reforms. We appreciate the strong support of the U.S. Senate on this issue. They have clearly stated it should be a priority for the Committee and Congress this year,” said Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Cantwell has long led the fight in advancing and modernizing the nation’s aerospace economy and skilled workforce. Last year, the Senator led similar legislation to near-unanimous approval in the Senate as part of the chamber’s FAA reauthorization.

The full text of the letter can be found here.