US President Joe Biden has signed into the law the new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorisation Act setting out a wide-ranging programme for aviation infrastructure and safety investment and reforms through to September 2028.

Biden signed the act after the US House of Representatives approved the bipartisan bill on 15 May. 

US president

Source: White House

”The bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration reauthorisation is a big win for travelers, the aviation workforce, and our economy,” says Biden. ”It will expand critical protections for air travelers, strengthen safety standards, and support pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers.
”It also builds on my Administration’s efforts to improve the travel experience for airline passengers, affirming the Department of Transportation’s rule that mandated automatic refunds when flights are cancelled or significantly delayed. It also makes sure families can sit together without paying extra fees.”

The wide-ranging act covers FAA efficiency efforts, development of general aviation, looks to address staff shortages across the industry, infrastucture investment as well as reforms to passenger rights. 

Speaking ahead of the its signing into law, Nicholas Calio, president of US carrier group Airlines for America, had welcomed the legislation as giving the FAA much-needed funding, stability and long-term certainty.

“This bill works to take care of ageing air traffic control towers, outdated equipment and underperforming technology. We are particularly pleased the bill works to address the air traffic controller shortage by dictating that the FAA adjusts their current staffing model and hires the maximum number of controllers.

”This, combined with the FAA’s efforts with the Collegiate Training Initiative, is a crucial step in the right direction. There is no overnight fix for the shortage, but this opens the air traffic controller pipeline to more capacity.”