Airport Funding Deal Hits Turbulence

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization negotiations are running out of time as the current FAA authorization expires on Friday, May 10.

Last week, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate reached an agreement on the FAA funding bill. However, since then, disagreement over amendments to the bill in the Senate have delayed progress. As a result, the House has cleared a weeklong extension to allow additional time to get to the bill passed in both chambers. At the time of this newsletter, it had yet to be determined if the Senate will continue to push for an agreement on the amendments or be forced to pass the House extension to allow for more time for debate beyond the May 10 deadline.

As a reminder, the bill includes a lot of wins for the construction industry. It would provide a much-needed boost to the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which funds airport runway and taxiway construction, from $3.35 billion to $4 billion per year. The bill also allows airports to incorporate price adjustment clauses in AIP projects to account for labor or material cost increases.

In addition, the bill requires U.S. DOT to issue a rule to allow for the use of drones beyond the visual line-of-sight operations. This change will increase the efficiency and effectiveness in the use of drones on projects for activities such as surveying, inspections, data collection, and visual documentation.

As always, we will keep you updated as this proposal moves through the House and Senate.

For more information, please contact Deniz Mustafa or Alex Etchen.

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