ALPA Never Shuts Down

ALPA pilots were on Capitol Hill this week as the U.S. federal government took steps to avert a shutdown and Congress extended the current authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until March 31, 2016.

It is indeed good news that the FAA’s authorization has been extended, but this week’s temporary fix is just the latest example of Congress’s long history of stop-and-start funding for the agency. While erratic reauthorization has made it challenging for the FAA to implement necessary safety and air traffic system upgrades, the progress made during its most recent three-year reauthorization offers a taste of the advancement that stable funding makes possible. For example, over the last three years, the FAA made significant strides in air traffic flow and coordination through en route automation modernization (ERAM) and gained safety, environmental, and efficiency benefits through a number of NextGen initiatives such as ADS-B and performance-based navigation implementation.

By passing a long-term bill containing sustained funding instead of the piecemeal practice of passing extension after extension, Congress will enable the FAA to lead the development and implementation of vital technologies, advance modernization, and enhance the U.S. airline industry’s ability to compete globally and meet passengers’ and cargo shippers’ future demands while maintaining our incredible safety record.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety, Security