America’s aviation system is headed for an upgrade. Today, the House will be voting on a bipartisan, bicameral package to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is another important bipartisan achievement for this Congress.

FAA Reforms

The bill includes a number of reforms to improve aviation infrastructure, strengthen travel safety, and ensure American companies remain at the forefront of aviation industry manufacturing. Among the highlights:

  • Provides funding to modernize airports and eliminates regulatory barriers to financing and completing much-needed projects.
  • Includes reforms to improve the quality of air travel for American consumers.
  • Implements guidelines to enhance safety for both travelers and airline employees.
  • Pares down regulations hindering U.S. manufacturers and streamlines the oversight process.
  • Adapts the aviation system to the newest technologies, promoting the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems.

Florence Relief and Disaster Recovery Reform

This bill directs $1.68 billion specifically toward aid for the region recently hit by Hurricane Florence. On top of that, the defense and health funding bill the House is acting on today makes an additional $8.8 billion available to help families and communities affected by the storm.

Importantly, this bill also includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which provides a significant overhaul to federal disaster programs so that they can better help areas in the times leading up to and following disasters.

These reforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emphasize preparation on the front end to lessen the drastic impact wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters can have on our communities. This investment on the front end provides for safer passage through these events and enables communities to recover more quickly. It also makes more effective use of the taxpayer dollars that support these efforts.

Infrastructure and Competitiveness 

In addition to promoting U.S. competitiveness in aviation, the package includes the BUILD Act to reassert America as an economic leader on the world stage. This is especially important at a time when China is using infrastructure to exert more control in developing areas. The bill creates a consolidated agency to boost U.S. investment in global infrastructure projects, expanding our influence into regions bursting with economic potential.