Key agreement reached on FAA Reauthorisation

Washington DC
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A conference committee comprised of members of the two chambers of the US Congress is close to reaching an agreement to provide stalled long-term funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The agency has been running on short term funding extensions for roughly five and a half years as controversial issues such as user fees and most recently airline union elections have led to Congressional stalemates in reaching a long-term agreement.

"We're in the final stage of signing off on a conference report that I hope will go to the floor for House and Senate passage said chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee Jay Rockefeller.

House and Senate leaders earlier this month reached a compromise in the labour dispute, which covers how elections are conducted at airlines.

The Obama administration needs to approve a final bill once it clears Congress. Previously the pro-union administration said it would reject any legislation overturing a new election procedure allowing unions to achieve representation by gaining a majority of votes cast rather than garnering a majority from the affected workgroup.

In the recently-reached compromise, the threshold of interest to initially conduct a union election is raised from 35% interest to 50% of an eligible workgroup.