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Fri, May 21, 2010

Oberstar Predicts FAA Reauthorization Bill Will Be Law By July 4

Downplays FedEx Objections To The Bill

Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) (pictured, right), Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says he expects the FAA re-authorization bill, which has been stalled in Congress literally for years, will finally be ready for the President's signature by July 4. "We will have a bill. It will move to the floor before the July 4 recess,” Oberstar said this week.

The FAA has been operating on a series of continuing resolutions to extend funding levels since September 30, 2007.

The House and Senate passed separate versions of the reauthorization earlier this year, and a conference committee is currently working out the differences between them. But Government Executive.com reports that the major sticking points, including an issue governing the way FedEx Express worker may organize, have not yet been addressed. While FedEx president Fred Smith said recently the issue was stalling the legislation, Oberstar denied that was the case. "There is no delay; don't buy the Fred Smith garbage," Oberstar said.

Oberstar also has promised that safety provisions concerning airline crew training and rest will be included in the final version of the bill. Congress placed a number of provisions into the bill addressing NTSB recommendations which followed the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 operated by Colgan Air. But on some issues, for instance the number of hours required for a person to act as a pilot in command of an airliner, the House and Senate versions differ. The House bill would require 1,500 hours, while the Senate bill stipulates 800 hours.

FMI: http://house.gov, http://senate.gov

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