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Congressman Higgins Announces House Approval of FAA Reauthorization Bill

Legislation Includes Amendment Protecting Pilot Training Rules Implemented Following the Crash of Flight 3407

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives has approved the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935). The bipartisan bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) funding and authorities for five years, through 2028. 

“This FAA reauthorization package includes a major victory for the Flight 3407 families who fought to protect the pilot training requirements put in place following the 2009 crash in Western New York,” said Congressman Higgins. “We were very close to seeing that progress weaken under the original bill. Thanks to their advocacy and the work of the Western New York delegation we have delivered legislation that not only maintains, but expands America’s gold standard of aviation safety.”

The comprehensive national aviation package includes an amendment led by Reps. Higgins, Langworthy, and Tenney and supported by a majority of Democrats that preserves the 1,500-hour pilot training standard implemented following the crash of Flight 3407. The bill's original version would have allowed for an additional 150 hours of pilot training to be completed on a simulator rather than in the air. 

In addition, the bill triples aviation workforce development funding to expand the pipeline of pilots. mechanics and aviation workers. It expands consumer protections and accessibility including establishing procedures to allow parents to sit next to their children, improving conditions for people with disabilities, and requiring airlines to develop policies addressing reimbursement for hotel and meal costs when flights are canceled. The legislation also supports airport improvements, funds the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and calls for the establishment of a runway safety council to address the recent uptick in runway incidents. 

The FAA’s authorities are set to expire on September 30, 2023. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration and approval.