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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CRS Issue Statement on Aviation Policy

Bart Elias, Coordinator
Specialist in Aviation Policy

Aviation policy issues confronting the 111th Congress include increasingly stressed financing mechanisms to support national airspace system operations and infrastructure improvements; capacity constraints that have an increasingly negative effect on the efficiency and safety of the national airspace system; options for mitigating environmental impacts of aviation operations; and options to further improve the safety and security of the air transportation system. These issues engaged the 110th Congress in intensive legislative activity to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other aviation programs, but disagreements prevented passage of legislation. Authorization for FAA functions and related aviation programs, as well as funding mechanisms for these activities, expired at the end of FY2007, but have been continued through a series of temporary extensions to existing revenue collection authority. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 915) was introduced in the House on February 11, 2009, and was passed by the House on May 21, 2009. The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S. 1451) was introduced in the Senate on July 14, 2009, and ordered reported favorable as amended by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on July 21, 2009. While that bill is pending further action in the Senate, a temporary extension, providing authority for aviation trust fund revenue collections and aviation programs until March 31, 2010, has been enacted (P.L. 111-116).

Date of Report: January 7, 2010
Number of Pages: 3
Order Number:IS40256
Price: $7.95

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