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President Joe Biden signed the long-awaited bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act into law on Thursday May 16—funding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for another five years.

After months of several short-term extensions, the $105 billion dollar legislation passed the House on Wednesday and the Senate last week before being sent to the President’s desk for final approval.

“The bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization is a big win for travelers, the aviation workforce, and our economy,” said President Biden in a statement. “It will expand critical protections for air travelers, strengthen safety standards, and support pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers.”

Several aviation leaders echoed the President’s sentiments—applauding the bill for its commitment to strengthen aviation safety, grow the workforce, and advance technology and innovation.

ALPA called the bill a “major step forward” for the safety of our nation’s aviation system. “This bill addresses runway and airport near misses, maintains rigorous pilot training standards and ensures that the United States remains the global leader in aviation safety,” said ALPA President Capt. Jason Ambrosi.

FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker commended the new reauthorization which “allows for more runway safety technology, more air traffic controllers and stronger oversight of aircraft production.”

The package includes language with a requirement for airlines to install 25-hour cockpit voice recorders on new and existing aircraft, up from two hours currently. National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy praised the bill saying, “We appreciate Congress’s safety leadership in mandating the FAA to implement many of our most critical recommendations, which, once acted upon, will further strengthen our nation’s ‘gold standard’ of aviation safety.”

Notably, the FAA Reauthorization Act also includes a first-ever general aviation title drawing praise from groups such as AOPA and EAA. There are several provisions in the bill that support GA including expanding BasicMed, mandating a 24-month deadline for the FAA’s final rule on MOSAIC, and sections that address the continued availability of avgas among others. “We appreciate the leadership of lawmakers who see the importance of this section and worked in a bipartisan manner to include provisions that enhance safety and support general aviation,” said EAA President Jack Pelton.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

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