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Bipartisan, FAA legislation introduced: The 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act


Bipartisan legislation that provides sweeping, transformational reform of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was introduced in the House of Representatives during the summer.

The 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act – the 21st Century AIRR Act – is sponsored by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Aviation Subcommittee Vice Chair Paul Mitchell (R-MI), U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

The legislation (H.R. 2997) is a six-year reauthorization of the FAA.  The bill also provides a number of important provisions and reforms to reduce red tape in the FAA’s certification process for aircraft and aviation products, improve the safety of air travel, improve the flying experience for consumers, foster innovation in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), fund the Nation’s airport infrastructure, and separate our antiquated air traffic control (ATC) service from the federal government and help finally modernize the system, according to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“This bill is about giving all Americans the safe and efficient, 21st century aviation system they deserve while keeping America the leader in aviation,” Shuster said. “We have the busiest aviation system in the world, and though it’s safe, it’s also inefficient, costly, and unable to keep up with growing demand or developing technology.”

“The 21st Century AIRR Act puts American innovation, and the traveling public first,” Shuster said.  “I commend Chairman LoBiondo for his hard work on this bill, which builds upon the work we did last Congress.  We met and worked with a large number of stakeholders and Members of Congress to produce this bill, and incorporated numerous ideas and changes to improve the final product. Momentum for these transformational reforms continues to build, and I look forward to marking up this bill in Committee next week.”

“The problem is clear: while the U.S. continues to have the safest aviation system in the world, we do not have the most efficient or effective system for future growth. I commend Chairman Shuster for his continued willingness to engage and openness to ideas to modernize and transform our aviation system to meet 21st century demands,” said LoBiondo. “Not often is the sequel better than the original, but provisions adopted with input from stakeholders and our colleagues has certainly made the AIRR Act a stronger vision for transforming our aviation system and worthy of bipartisan support.”

“I commend Chairman Shuster and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for their work to substantively address the concerns of everyone in the aviation industry throughout this process. When we talk about FAA reauthorization, I think about protecting the skies so all of aviation can continue flying safely, securely and freely,” said Graves. “This is the beginning of a long process, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Chairman and my colleagues to ensure a product that will be positive for all of aviation.”

“Americans deserve a safe and reliable aviation system,” said Mitchell.  “As Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation, I am pleased to join Chairmen Shuster and LoBiondo to advance much needed and long overdue updates to the FAA.  It’s time to join the 21st century and lead the world in aviation once again.”

“The United States must continue to lead in aviation safety and this plan proposed by Chairman Shuster reduces red tape, resolves budgetary limitations on infrastructure upgrades, and encourages innovation that will keep America’s air transportation safe and efficient as the skies become more crowded,” said Hanabusa.  “The time for action is now and I thank my bipartisan colleagues for prioritizing aviation safety.”

“Phoenix Sky Harbor is one of the busiest airports in the country, so Arizonans know too well the frustrations that come from delayed flights and long wait times,” said Sinema.  “There are solutions to these problems – solutions I’ve heard directly from Arizona air traffic controllers.  We shouldn’t let a broken Washington stand in the way of a 21st century aviation system.  Transitioning air traffic control to a service managed by a not-for-profit corporation will ensure stable funding, foster innovation, and lead to safer, more efficient and more reliable air travel.”

The 21st Century AIRR Act will:

  • Cut Washington red tape so that our manufacturers can get products to market on time, stay competitive, and continue to employ millions of Americans.
  • Encourage American innovation in aviation technologies to promote a stronger American workforce.
  • Ensure that our airport infrastructure connects businesses and people to the world.
  • Provide a better flying experience from gate to gate.
  • Ensure access to the aviation system for everyone who depends on it – especially the Nation’s millions of general aviation users, and small and rural America.
  • Provide Americans with a safe, efficient, modern system that uses 21st century technology to ensure more on-time departures, more direct routes, and less time wasted on the tarmac.For more information on the 21st Century AIRR Act, please visit here.

You can follow the bill through Congress from here.