Sun. May 19th, 2024

Senate passes sweeping FAA bill focused on safety and consumer protections

By 37ci3 May10,2024

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed the Senate late Thursday by a large majority aviation bill Increase, raise air traffic controller staffincrease funding for runway approach incident prevention and speed recovery for canceled flights.

The $105 billion, five-year measure reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill prohibits airlines from charging families to sit together and requires planes to be equipped with cockpit recorders for 25 hours, up from the current two hours, and directs the FAA to deploy advanced airport surface technology to prevent collisions.

The bill adds five daily round-trip flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and requires airlines to accept checks and credits for at least five years.

Efforts to improve aviation security in the United States have gained new urgency after a series of actions missed events and January 5 Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 door plug air emergency.

The bill, which is expected to receive final House approval next week, does not raise the mandatory pilot retirement age to 67, as lawmakers sought to do last year.

Earlier this week lawmakers agreed to revise the language to provide prompt refunds to airline passengers whose flights are canceled who purchase non-refundable tickets and do not seek alternative flights.

The bill would raise the maximum civil penalties for airline consumer violations from $25,000 to $75,000 per violation and address a shortage of 3,000 air traffic controllers by directing the FAA to implement improved staffing standards and hire more inspectors, engineers and technicians has a purpose.

Congress will not set minimum seat size requirements and will instead leave it up to the FAA. The bill would require the Department of Transportation to create a table showing consumers the minimum seat size for each U.S. airline.

Congress too rejected many other consumer provisions The Biden administration sought.

The bill also reauthorizes the National Transportation Safety Board and increases staffing at the safety investigation agency. It also seeks to increase the acceptance of drones and flying air taxis into national airspace, and extends the current government’s anti-drone powers until October 1.

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By 37ci3

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