Congress Passes Reauthorization of FAA through 2017
The bipartisan agreement provides much-needed stability for the aviation safety agency.
Congress has passed the bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016, ensuring that the agency can continue its work without interruption through the end of FY2017. Additionally, the bill eliminates the threat of premature privatization of air traffic control functions.
“Congress has delivered a bill that emphasizes the FAA’s important safety function so that it maintains the United States’ excellence in aviation,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. The agreement, which passed the House of Representatives on July 11 and the Senate on July 13, promises much-needed stability for the FAA.
The bill includes provisions that call for collaboration between TSA and airport stakeholders, so that long-term solutions for security checkpoint staffing may be developed. While it does not does not fully solve the ongoing issues at TSA, AFGE views the bipartisan agreement as a bridge to finding permanent solutions that address chronic short-staffing and the resulting long wait times at TSA checkpoints.
“For the first time, TSA is required to consult with unions, airlines, and airport operators about staffing,” Cox said, noting that most agencies already share staffing information with the unions representing their employees. “The 45,000 hard-working men and women that AFGE represents at TSA are on the front-lines of air security and they deserve a seat at the table.”
“The valuable insight of our TSA officers will allow the agency to help determine whether newly implemented procedures and technologies are actually effective,” Cox said. “No one protects the flying public better than TSA Officers.”
“I look forward to continued conversations with Congress, TSA, and other stakeholders on how we can continue to protect Americans while getting them to their destinations as quickly as possible,” Cox said.