House and Senate Reach a Deal on Airport Funding

The deal would increase funding for airport runway and taxiway construction projects nationwide.

On April 29, 2024, Senate and House of Representatives leaders reached an agreement to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding for the next five years.

Last year, AGC reported that the House passed their version of the bill, but the Senate version was held up over debates about the mandatory pilot retirement age, flight training requirements, and adding additional flights out of Ronald Reagan National Airport.

The bill 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 for the FAA 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.

The current FAA authorization expires on May 10, which means another short-term extension could be required for them to pass this legislative agreement in both chambers. As always, we will keep you updated as this proposal moves through the House and Senate.

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