“This bill benefits Americans who fly and even those who don’t. The U.S. Senate has an opportunity to make our skies safer, promote responsible drone usage, make economically significant aerospace manufacturing reforms, and adopt beneficial new protections for the flying public,” said Thune. “I appreciate the efforts of Sen. Nelson in reaching agreement to advance this bill and I look forward to working with Chairman Bill Shuster in the House of Representatives to find common ground with his innovative proposal.”
“This is a good starting place for both parties to come together and hopefully get something passed,” said Nelson. “I’m pleased we were able to include recommendations from a report I unveiled last year that took airlines to task for not adequately disclosing fees charged to passengers. These include requiring airlines to refund fees for delayed bags and providing clearer fee disclosures, among others.”
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration and related programs through the end of fiscal year 2017 (September 30, 2017). The legislation updates the safety and privacy framework to further drone development, offers reforms to help our aerospace industry better compete in a global economy, improves aviation safety, and expands consumer protections for airline passengers.
Key provisions in the bill:
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones – Addresses safety and privacy issues, boosts enforcement, and clarifies federal and local roles regarding drones while creating new opportunities for testing and promoting innovative uses of this technology, subject to FAA approval.
Aircraft Certification Reforms – Helps U.S. aerospace manufacturing by improving the FAA’s processes for certifying aircraft designs and modifications, as well as ensuring the benefits of such certification processes for manufacturers competing in global markets.
Consumer Protection & Aviation Access – Includes new consumer protections for the flying public:
Airline Safety Improvements – Includes new requirements on the bulk transfer of lithium batteries, mental health screening and records retention for commercial pilots, increasing awareness of human trafficking for airline personnel, and improving communicable disease preparedness.
General Aviation Safety & Protections – Addresses concerns of the general aviation community by including the bipartisan Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, which reforms the Third Class Medical Certificate process for non-commercial pilots. Also includes new requirements for small tower markings.
Click here for more highlights of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016.Click here for a detailed section-by-section summary. Click here for the full text of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 as introduced.