A Senate committee moved ahead with its version of reauthorization for the FAA on Wednesday, approving legislation that includes third class pilot medicals, and aircraft certification reform.
The bill’s major components remained intact during the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation markup session. It would see the FAA through Sept. 30, 2017, ordering the agency to complete rules for commercial operations of unmanned aircraft and issue progress reports on airspace modernization.
“We’re pleased that the Senate is keeping FAA reauthorization legislation moving,” AOPA said in a statement Wednesday. “This bill would give the FAA a way forward while addressing many of the big issues that matter to the general aviation community, including third class medical reform and aircraft certification reform.”
The bill is expected to reach the Senate floor in April. While the committee moved quickly this week to get its part completed, stakeholders are still waiting for the House’s transportation committee to get a new reauthorization bill moving after a previous proposal calling for privatizing air traffic control services was shelved.
Meanwhile, both chambers must approve a four-month budget extension for the FAA by the end of the month. The House has voted to extend the current budget through mid-July, and the Senate is expected to take action this week.