4-year Measure Authorizing FAA Programs Advances

Deal to allocate $63B for airport construction projects.

House and Senate lawmakers ended more than four years of standoffs by reaching agreement yesterday on a four-year, $63.6 billion U.S. aviation bill that keeps current funding levels and speeds development of new air-traffic technology.

“Today we proved we can do better,” Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, said. “None of us is 100 percent happy. That’s the nature of the things we do.”

The bill guides Federal Aviation Administration policy, sets its annual budget and contains dozens of provisions on everything from creating the NextGen air-traffic system to the types of musical instruments airline passengers can carry onto flights. The agreement, leading toward the FAA’s first long-term authorization since the last one expired in 2007, was announced at a conference-committee meeting of 20 lawmakers.

The bill may be the next measure considered by the Senate and go to the floor early next week, Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid, said today.

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Source: Bloomberg News