GBTA Encouraged by Passage of FAA Bill

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) applauded the House of Representatives for the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 on Friday, April 1.

The legislation advances key GBTA priorities, including an accelerated implementation of NextGen technology and important business traveler protections that increase transparency in flight delays and cancellations.

“The FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act will move the domestic air travel system into the future and away from antiquated technology and procedures,” said Mike McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “We strongly urge the Senate and House to reconcile the different bills as quickly as possible and deliver a bill for President Obama to sign into action. This bill, especially with an accelerated NextGen, will improve safety and increase the efficiency of our air travel system, and that is long overdue.”

GBTA said it supports the following key provisions of the legislation as passed by the House of Representatives:

Acceleration of NextGen
The bill directs the FAA to develop an implementation plan to put in place NextGen navigation procedures to maximize the efficiency and capacity of commercial operations at the top 35 busiest airports in the U.S. by 2015. It directs the FAA make use of third-party developers of navigation procedures and expedited environmental reviews to accelerate implementation. By not implementing NextGen, the FAA states that, by 2022, the legacy system would cost the U.S. economy $22 billion annually in lost economic activity. That number could grow to more than $40 billion by 2033 if action is not taken.

Increase Oversight on Canceled Flights & Lost Baggage

The bill requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to collect and publish data each month on diverted and canceled flights. It requires the DOT to conduct a review of delays and flight cancelations, including statistics and associated causes.

Performance Metrics
The bill requires the FAA to establish and track National Air System performance metrics that include actual arrival and departure rates per hour, runway safety including runway incursions, and metrics on progress on the installment of NextGen.

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