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Obama Administration Chides Senate Over FAA Bill

OMB Says 18 Months Is Not 'Long-Term' Funding

The Obama Administration Office of Management and Budget has sent a letter to Senators John Thune (R-ND) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) ... the Chairman and Ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, saying that the FAA Reauthorization Bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate has some areas that need to be improved.

In the letter, the OMB says the administration "appreciates the Senate's bipartisan effort to advance an aviation reauthorization bill," but that the 18 months covered by the Senate plan "do not provide the long-term certainty that the FAA needs to advance on its critical priorities." The letter goes on to say that the OMB recognizes that the shorter funding plan "is intended to enable a longer-term dialogue about the future of our aviation system."

In the letter the OMB says that while the bill contains some provisions that would advance the administration's priorities, it does not go far enough in the areas of safety, security, and the environment. It says the administration has concerns about the two-year time frame for certification standards for small UAVs. It questions provisions about increasing security at smaller airports, saying it would strain TSA resources, and should not relax regulations about air tours over national parks.

Finally, the OMB says that the bill should "do more with regards to infrastructure improvements."

The current continuing resolution funding the FAA expires in mid-July.

FMI: OMB Letter

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